Peering into the crowded core of the giant star cluster Omega Centauri, Hubble photographed a rainbow assortment of more than a hundred thousand stars, as seen in a picture released September 9, 2009. This riot of color represents only a small fraction of Omega Centauri's total population of about ten million stars.
The new image shows off the broad color gamut covered by Hubble's WFC3 instrument. Golden stars like our sun, puffed-up red giants, super-hot blue stars, long-lived red stars, and the burnt-out shells of dead white dwarfs vie for attention in the same frame.
"By studying pictures like this, we can learn about the physics of stars as they approach old age," Bob O'Connell, chair of Hubble's science oversight committee, said at a press conference.
Image courtesy NASA, ESA, and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team