Gravitational lensing in the galaxy cluster Abell 370

Esahubble_heic0910b_1024

esahubble_heic0910b September 9th, 2009

Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble SM4 ERO Team and ST-ECF

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's newly repaired Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) has peered across almost five billion light-years to resolve intricate details in the galaxy cluster Abell 370. Abell 370 is one of the very first galaxy clusters where astronomers observed the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, the warping of space-time by the clusters gravitational field that distorts the light from galaxies lying far behind it. This is manifested as arcs and streaks in the picture, which are the stretched images of background galaxies. Gravitational lensing is a vital tool for astronomers when measuring the dark matter distribution in massive clusters, since the mass distribution can be reconstructed from observations of its gravitational effects. Ground-based telescopic observations in the mid-1980s of the most prominent arc (near the right-hand side of the picture) allowed astronomers to deduce that the arc was not a structure of some kind within the cluster, but the gravitationally lensed image of an object twice as far away. Hubble has now resolved new, previously unseen details in the arc that reveal structure in the lensed background galaxy. Galaxy clusters are the most massive structures of the Universe, located at the crossing of the filaments of the cosmic web of dark matter. The most massive clusters can contain up to 1000 galaxies and intergalactic hot gas, all held together primarily by the gravity of dark matter. These observations were taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) in its Wide Field mode on 16 July 2009. The composite image was made using filters that isolate light from green, red and infrared wavelengths. These Hubble data are part of the Hubble Servicing Mission 4 Early Release Observations.

Image Source: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0910b/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Abell 370
Subject - Distant Universe
Galaxy > Grouping > Cluster
Esahubble_heic0910b_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 2h 39m 53.0s
DEC = -1° 34’ 18.1”
Orientation
North is 112.0° CCW
Field of View
2.4 x 2.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Cetus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (B) 435.0 nm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Optical (R) 625.0 nm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (ACS) Infrared (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Esahubble_heic0910b_1280
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ID
heic0910b
Subject Category
D.5.5.3  
Subject Name
Abell 370
Credits
NASA, ESA, the Hubble SM4 ERO Team and ST-ECF
Release Date
2009-09-09T17:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic0910b/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Redshift distance from NED
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
ACS, ACS, ACS
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red
Band
Optical, Optical, Infrared
Bandpass
B, R, I
Central Wavelength
435, 625, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
39.970656, -1.5717083
Reference Dimension
2884.0, 2379.0
Reference Pixel
1443.0, 1190.5
Scale
-1.38762e-05, 1.3876243e-05
Rotation
111.95
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
http://www.spacetelescope.org/
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
heic0910b
Metadata Date
2009-09-07T11:08:17+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.