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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2004

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M 15, Mark Asma

M 15 Photograph

M15 is one of many globular clusters in our solar system. In fact there are approximately 150 globular clusters known to man in our solar system. They cannot be seen with the naked eye, but with a pair of strong binoculars or a telescope many of them become very interesting images. A globular cluster contains hundreds of thousands, or even millions of stars. It has even been said that some of the stars are older than the milky-way galaxy itself. These large balls of stars in the sky can turn out to be some very cool images for us to explore.

In my research of the globular cluster M15 I have learned that as globular clusters pass one another there is an energy transfer from one cluster to the next. This is a process known as core collapse. In a cluster with an unstable core of stars there is a chance that when a transfer of energy occurs the entire cluster could turn into a black hole. M15 is one of the clusters that has great potential to show the process of core collapse. M15 is also a rare cluster because it has a planetary nebula which is very rare among globular clusters.