M54 where are you?
I’m a total goodie-two-shoes when it comes to not taking credit for stuff when I shouldn’t. For example: I read on Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog about M53, a globular cluster that’s (sort of) recycling its stars, and now I’m posting about GCs. In order for the pun (which is obscure, don’t worry about it if you don’t get it) in the title to work, I had to mention M54, which is also a GC. It’s all so terribly convenient.
GCs are truly amazing, and breath-takers of the night sky. Sort of like mini-galaxies that orbit the Milky Way, their stars are much more densely packed and things get pretty rowdy in there. Stars even collide and consume one another, which is not something we commonly see, even when galaxies merge. I’ve always wondered what it would be like inside one, looking out. I imagine it would be a sky full of suns, light from every direction, but of varying color and it would be pretty darn easy to get a tan. I say we send Snooki into the heart of one immediately, she’ll love it.
By all means read the BA post about the cool stuff going on, but for simplicity’s sake, here are some amazing Hubble photos which will link to more info.
M53 is the one Phil wrote about and looks a little different, but like M54, still reminds me of the 2001’s end sequence.
Remember, you can just look up into a dark sky and see these things. With binoculars or a small scope, they’re really something.