Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pandora's Cluster -- Clash of the Titans

24.06.2011
A team of scientists studying the galaxy cluster Abell 2744, nicknamed Pandora's Cluster, have pieced together the cluster's complex and violent history using telescopes in space and on the ground, including the Hubble Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope, the Japanese Subaru telescope, and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The giant galaxy cluster appears to be the result of a simultaneous pile-up of at least four separate, smaller galaxy clusters. The crash took place over a span of 350 million years.

The galaxies in the cluster make up less than five percent of its mass. The gas (around 20 percent) is so hot that it shines only in X-rays (colored red in this image). The distribution of invisible dark matter (making up around 75 percent of the cluster's mass) is colored here in blue.

Dark matter does not emit, absorb, or reflect light, but it makes itself apparent through its gravitational attraction. To pinpoint the location of this elusive substance the team exploited a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. This is the bending of light rays from distant galaxies as they pass through the gravitational field created by the cluster. The result is a series of telltale distortions in the images of galaxies in the background of the Hubble and VLT observations. By carefully analyzing the way that these images are distorted, it is possible to accurately map where the dark matter lies.

Chandra mapped the distribution of hot gas in the cluster.

The data suggest that the complex collision has separated out some of the hot gas (which interacts upon collision) and the dark matter (which does not) so that they now lie apart from each other, and from the visible galaxies. Near the core of the cluster there is a "bullet" shape where the gas of one cluster collided with that of another to create a shock wave. The dark matter passed through the collision unaffected.

In another part of the cluster, galaxies and dark matter can be found, but no hot gas. The gas may have been stripped away during the collision, leaving behind no more than a faint trail.

Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Merten (Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, Heidelberg/Astronomical Observatory of Bologna), and D. Coe (STScI)

For images and more information, visit:

http://hubblesite.org/news/2011/17
http://www.nasa.gov/hubble
http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1111
For additional information, contact:
Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
410-338-4514
villard@stsci.edu
Oli Usher
Hubble/ESA, Garching, Germany
011-49-89-3200-6855
ousher@eso.org
Julian Merten
Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
Heidelberg, Germany
011-49-62-2154-8987
jmerten@ita.uni-heidelberg.de
Dan Coe
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
410-338-4312
dcoe@stsci.edu
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages

the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington, D.C.

Ray Villard | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.stsci.edu

Further reports about: Baltimore Hubble NASA STScI Space Space Telescope Telescope Titans dark matter galaxy cluster hot gas

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Transportable laser
23.01.2018 | Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)

nachricht New for three types of extreme-energy space particles: Theory shows unified origin
23.01.2018 | Penn State

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>