Image: Hubble's cosmic fireflies

Image: Hubble's cosmic fireflies
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Galaxies glow like fireflies in this spectacular NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. This flickering swarm of cosmic fireflies is a rich cluster of galaxies called Abell 2163.

Abell 2163 is a member of the Abell catalog, an all-sky catalog of over 4,000 . It is particularly well-studied because the material sitting at its core (its intracluster medium) exhibits exceptional properties, including a large and bright radio halo and extraordinarily high temperatures and X-ray luminosities. It is the hottest in the catalog! Observing massive clusters like Abell 2163 can contribute to the study of dark matter, and provide a new perspective on the distant Universe via phenomena such as gravitational lensing.

This image was taken by Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3, partially for an extensive observing program called RELICS. The program is imaging 41 massive galaxy clusters to find the brightest distant , which will be studied in more detail using both current telescopes and the future James Webb Space Telescope.


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Citation: Image: Hubble's cosmic fireflies (2017, December 18) retrieved 24 June 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-12-image-hubble-cosmic-fireflies.html
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