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News Release Archive:

News Release 36 of 1057

March 31, 2016 10:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2016-11

Hubble's Journey to the Center of Our Galaxy

A Hubble Heritage Release

March 31, 2016: Hubble's infrared vision pierced the dusty heart of our Milky Way galaxy to reveal more than half a million stars at its core. Except for a few blue, foreground stars, the stars are part of the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster, the most massive and densest stellar cluster in our galaxy. Located 27,000 light-years away, this region is so packed with stars, it is equivalent to having a million suns crammed into the volume of space between us and our closest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light-years away. At the very hub of our galaxy, this star cluster surrounds the Milky Way's central supermassive black hole, which is about 4 million times the mass of our sun.

To learn even more about the Milky Way's nuclear star cluster and Hubble, join astronomers and scientists during a live Hubble Hangout discussion at 3pm EDT on Thurs., March 31 at http://hbbl.us/y6k.

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Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Acknowledgment: T. Do and A. Ghez (UCLA), and V. Bajaj (STScI)