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A globular cluster for the new year: M22

1 Jan 2020, 14:00 UTC
A globular cluster for the new year: M22
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Happy new year!

Usually on this day I repost an updated version of my article on what we mean by "year," which is way more complicated than you might think. But this time I decided to give it a rest, and instead post a pretty picture of something.

But what? Choices abound, but then I thought, well, where is the Sun in the sky on New Year's Day? As the Earth orbits the Sun, we see the Sun move against the background stars, so every day it's in a slightly different spot relative to the stars. So why not see if there's an interesting object near where the Sun is today, and write about that?

It's as good a way as any to find something cool to write about. So I fired up Sky Safari, entered 1 January 2020, and took a look at where the Sun was. And lookee here: On New Year's Day the Sun is just a couple of degrees from the globular cluster M22… which has been observed by Hubble! Perfect! So here you go:

Hubble Space Telescope observation of the globular cluster M22 in Sagittarius, one of the closest such objects at a distance of ...

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