Bright Cluster, Dark Centre
From the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile. Omega Centauri is 17,000 light years away in the constellation Centaurus. This is the most massive of the globular clusters surrounding our Milky Way. The cluster is 150 light-years across and contains about 10 million stars. In our southern sky it appears nearly as big as the full Moon.
Recent observations with the Hubble Space Telescope and Gemini Observatory indicate that the Omega Centauri contains a Black Hole with the mass of 40,000 suns. The cluster is thought to be 12 billion years old. Astronomers have long wondered how globular clusters could have formed before the galaxy's oldest stars had formed. The Black Hole provides an answer. The cluster could have been seeded by a Black Hole like a pearl forming around a grain of sand.
Below is Globular Cluster M13 as imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Early formation of massive Black Holes is one more indication that the speed of light was once much higher.