This video zooms into and then pans across a Hubble Space Telescope mosaic of the immense Coma cluster of over 1,000 galaxies, located 300 million light-years from Earth, revealing thousands of globular star clusters (circled in green). Hubble was used to do a comprehensive census of the cluster's most diminutive members: a whopping 22,426 globular star clusters (circled in green). Among the earliest homesteaders of the universe, globular star clusters are snow-globe-shaped islands of several hundred thousand ancient stars. The survey found the globular clusters scattered in space between the galaxies. They have been orphaned from their home galaxy due to galaxy near-collisions inside the traffic-jammed galaxy cluster. Astronomers will use the globular cluster field for mapping the distribution of matter and dark matter in the Coma galaxy cluster.
Publication: December 5, 2018