What Feeds the Beast in a Galaxy Cluster?

Spitzer_ssc2015-03b_500

spitzer_ssc2015-03b September 10th, 2015

Credit: NASA/ESA/STScI/JPL-Caltech/McGill

A massive cluster of galaxies, called SpARCS1049+56, can be seen in this multi-wavelength view from NASA's Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. At the middle of the picture is the largest, central member of the family of galaxies (upper right red dot of central pair). Unlike other central galaxies in clusters, this one is bursting with the birth of new stars.

Scientists say this star birth was triggered by a collision between a smaller galaxy and the giant, central galaxy. The smaller galaxy's wispy, shredded parts, called a tidal tail, can be seen coming out below the larger galaxy. Throughout this region are features called "beads on a string," which are areas where gas has clumped to form new stars.

This type of "feeding" mechanism for galaxy clusters -- where gas from the merging of galaxies is converted to new stars -- is rare.

The Hubble data in this image show infrared light with a wavelength of 1 micron in blue, and 1.6 microns in green. The Spitzer data show infrared light of 3.6 microns in red.

Image Source: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/images/6115-ssc2015-03b-What-Feeds-the-Beast-in-a-Galaxy-Cluster-

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
SpARCS1049+56
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy » Grouping » Cluster
Galaxy » Type » Interacting

Distance

Universescale2
9,800,000 light years
Spitzer_ssc2015-03b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 10h 49m 22.7s
DEC = 56° 40’ 31.4”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
0.8 x 0.8 arcminutes
Constellation
Ursa Major

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (Near-IR) 1.1 µm
Arrow_left_green Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (Near-IR) 1.6 µm
Arrow_left_red Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 3.6 µm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Spitzer_ssc2015-03b_1280
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ID
ssc2015-03b
Subject Category
C.5.5.3   C.5.1.7  
Subject Name
SpARCS1049+56
Credits
NASA/ESA/STScI/JPL-Caltech/McGill
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble, Hubble, Spitzer
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, IRAC
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Near-IR
Central Wavelength
1050, 1600, 3600
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
162.3447842, 56.6753895
Reference Dimension
2200.0, 2201.0
Reference Pixel
1101.0, 1101.5
Scale
-6.24869e-06, 6.2486901e-06
Rotation
-0.02
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
ssc2015-03b.tif
Metadata Date
2015-09-10
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
9,800,000 light years