A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in This NASA Hubble View

by Fredrick Graves May 6, 2017, 2:28
A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in This NASA Hubble View

Studying massive galaxy clusters like Abell 370 also helps with measuring the distribution of normal matter and dark matter within such clusters (heic1506 - http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic1506/).

The five other clusters of galaxies that were imaged in exquisite detail are Abell S1063, MACS J0717,5+3745, MACS J0416.1-2403, Abell 2744 and MACS J1149.5+2223.

With the final observation of the distant galaxy cluster Abell 370 - some five billion light-years away - the Frontier Fields program came to an end. This is part of the Frontier Fields program. In fact, all the arcs in this image are galaxies being bent through gravitational lensing.

Galaxy cluster Abell 370 contains several hundred galaxies tied together by the mutual pull of gravity.

In the above interview, Hubble Space Telescope Deputy Project Manager Jim Jeletic tells our Burton Fitzsimmons how the gravitational lensing effect works and also discusses the future of Hubble, arguably the most famous scientific instrument ever built by humans.

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They now estimate there are around two trillion galaxies in the universe. This arc consists of two distorted images of an ordinary spiral galaxy that lies behind the cluster. In the case of this image, galaxies beyond the cluster spread out along multiple paths and appear in a few locations.

Almost a hundred distant galaxies have multiple images caused by the lensing effect.

But thanks to gravity, scientists were able to magnify light of those galaxies in what's referred to as a "gravitational lensing effect". The cluster contains hundreds of galactic neighbors bound together by their own gravitational pull. These observations are helping astronomers understand how stars and galaxies emerged out of the dark ages of the universe billions of years ago.

The Hubble Space Telescope - operated jointly by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) - captured an image of Abell 370 in unprecedented detail, using 630 hours of observing time over 560 orbits of Earth, according to the telescope's website.

NASA plans to launch Hubble's successor, the James Webb Telescope, in 2018. "Instead, the cluster acts as a huge lens in space that magnifies and stretches images of background galaxies like a funhouse mirror".


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