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globular cluster

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noun Astronomy.

a comparatively older, spherically symmetrical, compact group of up to a million old stars, held together by mutual gravitation, that are located in the galactic halo and move in giant and highly eccentric orbits around the galactic center.

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Origin of globular cluster

First recorded in 1855–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for globular cluster

globular cluster

noun

astronomy a densely populated spheroidal star cluster with the highest concentration of stars near its centre, found in the galactic halo and in other galaxies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for globular cluster

globular cluster
[ glŏbyə-lər ]

A spherical mass made up of thousands to hundreds of thousands of densely packed stars of nearly the same age (typically very old). Globular clusters occupy the inner regions of a galactic halo and revolve around the nucleus of galaxies in highly elliptical orbits inclined to the disk of the spiral arms. There are approximately 150 of these clusters in the Milky Way. It is believed that globular clusters can provide information about the evolution and lifespan of stars. Compare open cluster.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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