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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Galaxy Cluster MACS J0717.5+3745

Galaxy Cluster MACS J0717.5+3745
Click on the image for full resolution (4.4 MB)

This enormous image shows Hubble's view of massive galaxy cluster MACS J0717.5+3745. The large field of view is a combination of 18 separate Hubble images. Studying the distorting effects of gravity on light from background galaxies, a team of astronomers has uncovered the presence of a filament of dark matter extending from the core of the cluster. This is one of the first positive detections of a filament, and the most precise to date. Using additional observations from ground-based telescopes, the team were able to map the filament's structure in three dimensions, the first time this has ever been done.
The full resolution image weighs 4.4 MB, so please be patient when downloading!
Credit: NASA, ESA, Harald Ebeling(University of Hawaii at Manoa) & Jean-Paul Kneib (LAM)
Image enhancement: Jean-Baptiste Faure

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