Globular Clusters within the Coma Cluster

- Image ID: T81P93
Globular Clusters within the Coma Cluster
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: T81P93
This image from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) reveals thousands of globular clusters lying at the core of the Coma Cluster, a huge gathering of over 1000 galaxies, about 320 million light-years away, bound together by gravity. Astronomers have spotted over 22,000 globular clusters, some of which had formed a bridge connecting a pair of well-known interacting galaxies (NGC 4889 and NGC 4874). A globular cluster is a spherical group of stars that usually orbits a galaxy as a self-contained satellite. However, the ones studied here are of a different type: intracluster globular clusters. These are globular clusters that are not bound to an individual galaxy, but to a galaxy cluster, in this case, the Coma Cluster, one of the first places where observed gravitational anomalies indicated the existence of dark matter.