Oct. 2 (UPI) -- In a new image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 4874 can be seen surrounded by stellar clusters.
Like a cosmic mobile, NGC 4874 is outfitted with a plethora of companions. No strings are needed to keep the mobile spinning in unison, as the giant galaxy's gravitation pull holds the attention of some 30,000 globular star clusters.
In the newly shared Hubble image, NGC 4874 is positioned on the right. It is the brightest orb in the image. The galaxy appears like a single star, enveloped by a hazy, halo-like sphere of light. The flying saucer-like clusters are scattered around the margins of the image.
Most of the smaller points of light in the distance are also stellar clusters, and the majority are under the gravitational spell of NGC 4874, which lies at the center of Coma Galaxy Cluster. The galactic cluster is situated 350 million light-years from Earth.
However, a recent astronomical survey proved at least a few of the dimmer points of light are ultra-compact dwarf galaxies. These mini galaxies are also under the influence of the giant galaxy's gravity. It's likely many of theses galaxies were significantly larger, but were robbed of gas and other star-forming materials by other larger galaxies in the Coma Cluster.
The space telescope used its Wide Field Channel of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys to capture the image of NGC 4874.