The new image shows the star cluster NGC 330, which is located about 180 thousand light-years from us. It is located inside the Small Magellanic Cloud in the constellation Toucan.
The object’s relative proximity makes it an ideal candidate for studying star formation and evolution.
The patterns around the star seen in the image are called diffraction bursts.
Since star clusters are formed from a single primary cloud of gas and dust, all-stars, for example, in the image, are approximately the same age. This will help astronomers learn more about how stars form and develop.
The authors note that the picture was taken as part of the study: firstly, to understand why stars in clusters evolve differently than outside them, and secondly, to determine the size limits of a star before it explodes.