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Mystery Photo

What in the world is it?

Don’t peek at the answer until you’ve given this a good try! Then, scroll down a bit and the truth will be revealed to you.

Credit: (NASA)

What In the World Is It?

A blizzard at night? A magnified view of dandruff on the shoulder of a black evening dress? No, what we have here is the heart of a glittering swarm of stars known as the globular star cluster M22 – a 12- to 14-billion-year-old grouping of stars in the constellation Sagittarius.

The Hubble Space telescope took this stunning view, which covers an area 3.3 light-years across. The stars near the cluster’s core are 100,000 times more numerous than those in the Sun’s neighborhood. Buried in the glow of starlight are about six "mystery objects," which astronomers estimate are no larger than one quarter the mass of the giant planet Jupiter, the solar system’s heftiest planet. You won’t see the mystery objects in this photo, though, because the invisible objects betrayed their presence by bending the starlight gravitationally and amplifying it, a phenomenon known as microlensing.


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