Release Date: July 10, 2003
A rich starry sky fills the view from an ancient gas-giant planet in the core of the globular star cluster M4, as imagined in this artist's concept. The 13-billion-year-old planet orbits a helium white-dwarf star and the millisecond pulsar B1620-26, seen at lower left. The globular cluster is deficient in heavier elements for making planets, so the existence of such a world implies that planet formation may have been quite efficient and common in the early universe.
Object Names: B1620-26, M4
Image Type: Artwork
Illustration Credit: NASA and G. Bacon (STScI)
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NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is home to the nation's largest organization of combined scientists, engineers and technologists that build spacecraft, instruments and new technology to study the Earth, the sun, our solar system, and the universe.