Monday, November 10, 2014

Hubble image: Galaxy Cluster Abell 1413 Between the Lion and Berenice's Hair

Galaxy cluster Abell 1413 lies between the constellations of Leo (The Lion) and Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair), at a distance of over 2 billion light-years from Earth. 

A large, very elliptical galaxy called MCG+04-28-097 shines at the center of this image, with a halo of stars extending outward more than 6.5 million light-years.

Abell 1413 contains more than 300 galaxies bound together by the immense gravity of the cluster.

Abell 1413 is part of the Abell catalogue, a collection of over 4000 rich clusters of galaxies fairly close to Earth, at least from a cosmological perspective, their light took less than 3 billion years to reach us.

The clusters are called rich due to the huge number of galaxies they play host to. Abell 1413 is observed to contain more than 300 galaxies held together by the immense gravity of the cluster.

The strong interactions between these galaxies cause the material in the cluster to be heated to extremely high temperatures of almost 100 million degrees, because of this, the cluster emits very strong X-ray radiation.

Visible distortions in the image can be seen in the form of arcs, caused by gravitational lensing.

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