No matter how many times the Hubble Space Telescope provides us with breathtaking views of our universe, the excitement of seeing a new world always feels fresh. Such is the case for the image released by NASA on Friday (August 18).
In this picture, we are witnessing a massive galaxy cluster Named Abell 3322, it is a collection of worlds that collectively lie about 2.6 billion light-years from our planet. as one Light year equal to the distance light travels in one year, even adjusting to the universe expansion rateso this assembly appears to us as if it had been frozen in time during a different era in cosmic history.
Front and center in the image is a hard-to-miss hazy galaxy dubbed — get ready for the top — 2MASX J05101744-4519179.
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According to the release, one of the important qualities of Abell 3322 for scientific observations, is the fact that it is very luminous in the X-ray wavelengths, which refer to the wavelengths of light on electromagnetic A spectrum between 0.1 and 10 nm. X-ray light is not visible to the human eye, as our unaided vision can only see visible light wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometers, but the tools of astronomy can go beyond our physical limits. However, the cluster can also be observed at other wavelengths of light, which NASA has identified.
according to NASA statement In this cosmic cluster image, two Hubble instruments have combined to give us this stunning view. The Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 captured the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that lies between ultraviolet, visible, and infrared light, while the Advanced Camera for Surveys focused on visible-light observations in particular. You may also have heard the term infrared astronomy thrown around recently because James Webb Space Telescope It is making headlines because it is decoding our world using specialized infrared sensors.
Detecting this kind of light is key for scientists looking to study the oldest regions of our universe and peek through the thick veil of dust and gas to see what might lie behind it. In fact, NASA says future observations of Abell 3322 with JWST may be useful in studying the cluster, which is located in the constellation Pictor.
Another cool detail about this recently released image is the number of galaxies that look like someone went to Microsoft Word and enlarged them until they looked like oddly coordinated smudges. But these smudges are great to look at, because the reason they appear the way they do is due to a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, which was predicted by Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
“Observations of galaxy clusters such as Abell 3322 can advance our understanding of the evolution and interactions of dark and light matter in galaxy clusters, and also reveal powerful gravitational ‘telescopes’ that magnify distant objects through gravitational lensing,” NASA says. said in the statement.
In short, gravitational lensing refers to how light from a distant object (such as a galaxy) is affected as it travels through space, distorted by very heavy objects (such as other galaxies) creating dents in the fabric of space-time. Astronomers can harness this effect for scientific observations of distant objects in the universe because these optical distortions can sometimes lead to a magnifying effect known as gravitational lensing. This phenomenon makes light sources easier to analyze from our vantage point on Earth.
In fact, JWST has really been killing it in this regard, showing us tons of gravity-twisting galaxies that will simply blow your mind. Abell 3322 is probably next on his list.
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