Institution(s): 1. Peking University
Globular clusters (GCs) are a distinctive and ubiquitous constituent of galaxy halos. Their existence alludes to an early epoch of galaxy building characterized by the high star formation rates needed to form massive clusters, and a merging process that produced the extended, spheroidal stellar halos in today's galaxies. While studies of stellar halos are generally limited by low surface brightnesses or the faintness of individual halo stars, GCs are bright and compact, making them excellent tracers of stellar halos out to hundreds of megaparsecs. The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey (NGVS) is a CFHT Large Program that has acquired imaging of the 104 square degrees within the Virgo Cluster's virial radius. This deep and contiguous imaging of the nearest galaxy cluster provides us a new view of globular clusters across the full range of galaxy morphology and mass, as well as in the regions between galaxies. It also provides the first complete census of ultra-compact dwarfs (UCDs) in Virgo, objects which may be related to massive GCs and galaxy nuclei. In this talk, I will present what we have learned so far about extragalactic GC systems and UCDs from the NGVS, from both photometry and spectroscopy.