Clusters within clusters

Esahubble_potw1849a_1024

esahubble_potw1849a December 3rd, 2018

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Mack, and J. Madrid et al.

This image, from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescopes Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals thousands of globular clusters lying at the core of a galaxy cluster. It was created by a Hubble survey that drew on data from three of the telescopes separate observing programmes to explore the centre of the Coma cluster, a huge gathering of over 1000 galaxies, about 320 million light-years away, all bound together by gravity. Astronomers 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 globular clusters studied here are of a different type, intracluster globular clusters. Specifically, these are globular clusters that are not bound to an individual galaxy, but to a galaxy cluster in this case, Coma. While globular clusters orbiting our Milky Way reveal themselves as sparkling spherical assemblies of densely packed stars, at the distance of the Comla cluster, they only appear as tiny dots of light, even to Hubble's advanced vision. However, a characteristic feature of globular clusters is their colour; since the stars in any given cluster all formed at around the same time and from the same stuff, they usually have a consistent colour. In this way, the astronomers were able to identify the clusters and rule out background galaxies lying in the same region of sky by analysing their colour and size, painting a beautiful family portrait of Coma and its clusters. With the help of the identified globular clusters astronomers can map the distribution of matter and even more important of dark matter in the Coma cluster. The Coma Cluster was one of the first places where observed gravitational anomalies indicated the existence of dark matter. Links Science paper STScI press release

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1849a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Coma Cluster
Subject - Local Universe
Star > Grouping > Cluster > Globular
Galaxy > Grouping > Cluster
Esahubble_potw1849a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 12h 59m 54.0s
DEC = 27° 58’ 36.1”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
15.2 x 8.6 arcminutes
Constellation
Coma Berenices

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_orange Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Arrow_left_cyan Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (B) 475.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_orange
Arrow_top_cyan
Esahubble_potw1849a_1280
×
ID
potw1849a
Subject Category
C.3.6.4.2   C.5.5.3  
Subject Name
Coma Cluster
Credits
NASA, ESA, J. Mack, and J. Madrid et al.
Release Date
2018-12-03T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1849a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Orange, Cyan
Band
Optical, Optical
Bandpass
I, B
Central Wavelength
814, 475
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
194.974910926, 27.9767014192
Reference Dimension
18281.0, 10283.0
Reference Pixel
9140.5, 5141.5
Scale
-1.38901651437e-05, 1.38901651437e-05
Rotation
0.020000000000000007
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1849a
Metadata Date
2018-11-26T09:28:51+01:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.