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Space Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images

Discussion in 'Tech, Science, and Space' started by Robby, Aug 23, 2009.

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  1. Robby

    Robby The Robot

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    NASA Astronomy Picture Of The Day
    Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images


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    Giant Cluster Bends, Breaks Images
    Credit: NASA, ESA, H. Lee & H. Ford (Johns Hopkins U.)

    Explanation: What are those strange blue objects? Many of the brightest blue images are of a single, unusual, beaded, blue, ring-like galaxy which just happens to line-up behind a giant cluster of galaxies. Cluster galaxies here typically appear yellow and -- together with the cluster's dark matter -- act as a gravitational lens. A gravitational lens can create several images of background galaxies, analogous to the many points of light one would see while looking through a wine glass at a distant street light. The distinctive shape of this background galaxy -- which is probably just forming -- has allowed astronomers to deduce that it has separate images at 4, 10, 11, and 12 o'clock, from the center of the cluster. A blue smudge near the cluster center is likely another image of the same background galaxy. In all, a recent analysis postulated that at least 33 images of 11 separate background galaxies are discernable. This spectacular photo of galaxy cluster CL0024+1654 from the Hubble Space Telescope was taken in November 2004.



    (Via NASA)
     

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