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NASA's Hubble telescope snaps massive elliptical galaxy with 200 billion stars
NASA Hubble captures another spectacle.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has managed to capture an orb of light is a massive elliptical galaxy that comprises a whopping 200 billion stars. Spiral galaxies have a defined structure and show spiral arms, however, the elliptical galaxies appear smooth and featureless.
This is probably the reason this Messier 49 galaxy was discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier back in 1771. The M49 was the first member of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies to be discovered. It measures 157,000 light-years and is 56 million light-years away.
Elliptical galaxies have a large portion of older stars than spiral galaxies and lack young blue stars. The galaxy is yellow in color, which means most of the stars are mostly older and redder than the Sun.
It is believed that the last major star formation in the galaxy was about six billion years ago, even before the Sun was even born. The M49 is also rich in the globular cluster as it hosts around 6,000, which is gargantuan compared to the 150 found around the Milky Way.
These clusters are said to be around 10 billion years old. Besides, Messier 49 also hosts a supermassive black hole at its center which is equivalent to the mass of 500 Suns.