globular cluster

globular cluster

Any large group of old, Population II (see Populations I and II) stars closely packed in a symmetrical, somewhat spherical form. About 150 have been identified in the Milky Way Galaxy. Most are distributed in a spherical volume above and below the Galaxy's disk (see galactic halo). Globular clusters contain many more stars (10,000–1,000,000) than open clusters do and can be several hundred light-years in diameter. Because they are so distant from the solar system, most are not visible to the unaided eye. Omega Centauri and a few others can be seen without a telescope as hazy patches of light.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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