NASA has released a stunning image snapped by the agency's Hubble Space Telescope of the global Messier cluster.
Globular clusters are spherical groups of ancient stars bound together by their mutual gravitational attraction.
Messier 2 is one of about 170 global clusters known in the Milky Way.
Also known as M2 or NGC 7089, it was discovered in 1746 by the French astronomer Giovanni Domenico (Jean-Dominique) Maraldi while he was observing a comet.
Messier 2 is located in the constellation of Aquarius, approximately 55,000 light-years away.
The cluster has a diameter of roughly 175 light-years and is one of the largest of its kind.
, Messier 2 is one of the oldest globular clusters associated with our Galaxy.
It contains over 150,000 stars, including 21 known variables stars.
Most of the cluster's mass is concentrated at its center, with shimmering streams of stars extending outward into space.  It has an apparent magnitude of 6.3 and is bright enough that it can be seen with the naked eye when observing conditions are extremely good.