Astronomy Picture of the Day
    


Abell 370: Galaxy Cluster Gravitational Lens
<< Yesterday 19.03.2019 Tomorrow >>
Abell 370: Galaxy Cluster Gravitational Lens
Credit & Copyright: NASA, ESA, Hubble; Processing & Copyright: Rogelio Bernal Andreo (DeepSkyColors.com)
Explanation: What are those strange arcs? While imaging the cluster of galaxies Abell 370, astronomers noticed an unusual arc. The arc wasn't understood right away -- not until better images showed that the arc was a previously unseen type of astrophysical artifact of a gravitational lens, where the lens was the center of an entire cluster of galaxies. Today, we know that this arc, the brightest arc in the cluster, actually consists of two distorted images of a fairly normal galaxy that happens to lie far in the distance. Abell 370's gravity caused the background galaxies' light -- and others -- to spread out and come to the observer along multiple paths, not unlike a distant light appears through the stem of a wine glass. Almost all of the yellow images featured here are galaxies in the Abell 370 cluster. An astute eye can pick up many strange arcs and distorted arclets, however, that are actually gravitationally lensed images of distant normal galaxies. Studying Abell 370 and its images gives astronomers a unique window into the distribution of normal and dark matter in galaxy clusters and the universe.

January
February
March
April
May
 < March 2019  >
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su




123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Web Site Statements, Warnings, and Disclaimers
NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: galaxy cluster - gravitational lens
Publications with words: galaxy cluster - gravitational lens
See also:
All publications on this topic >>