High Resolution Picture

There are countless galaxies in the universe. With the advancement of science and technology, astronomers designed and constructed the Hubble Space Telescope. They have observed hundreds of bright dots in our Milky Way galaxy and nearby galaxies. Those bright dots in these galaxies are called Globular Clusters, which are compact groups of 100,000 to a million stars.

This year's first issue of Science magazine (volume 299, no. 5603, January 3, 2003) published a series of reports about observations of Globular Clusters. American astronomers Krauss and Chaboyer estimated that the age of the earliest globular cluster and the universe was at least 11.2 billion years. Their observations and analysis supported the case for a dark energy-dominated universe. The image above shows the four stages of the Milky Way's formation and evolution. Those bright dots spread out all over the Milky Way galaxy are the oldest globular clusters, each of them containing hundreds of thousands of stars.

In 1976, when astrophysicist Ivan King signed his book "The Universe Unfolding" for his student, Francois Schweizer, he wrote, "Francois, try your best to have it (this book) outdated." Francois followed his teacher's wish and has become an expert in the field of Globular Clusters.

Ivan King's encouragement indeed reflected the spirit of science. Nowadays, scientists are still making great efforts to seek breakthroughs and discover new theories. Science is indeed advancing and making current knowledge obsolete at a rapid pace.