Major mergers

Esahubble_potw1829a_1024

esahubble_potw1829a July 16th, 2018

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

At first glance, it may seem as though this image was taken through a faulty lens, but the mind-bending distortions visible in this Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 impressive image are actually caused by a cosmic phenomenon. The bright object at the centre of the frame is the galaxy cluster SDSS J1336-0331. The enormous gravitational influence of the cluster warps the very shape and fabric of its environment (the spacetime around it) creating an effect known as strong gravitational lensing. Through this the light from background galaxies in the line of sight to the observer are bent into fantastic arcs. This effect is very useful for studying distant background galaxies. Moreover SDSS J1336-0331 is interesting in itself: the cluster was part of a study of star formation within 42 of the Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs the brightest galaxies within their host clusters, as the name would suggest). Typically located in the centres of their clusters, BCGs are among the most massive and luminous galaxies in the Universe. They are generally huge elliptical galaxies and are likely to host active galactic nuclei (AGN) in their cores. The study found evidence to suggest that BCGs are fueled by cold gas from the galaxy. It also showed that star formation in older BCGs no longer significantly contributes to the galaxys growth; instead, the stellar growth occurs through mergers, the collision of two galaxies. Violent, gas-rich major mergers can trigger intense bursts of star formation in their aftermath.

Image Source: https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1829a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Garching bei München, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
6dFGS gJ133600.1-033130 SDSS J1336-0331
Subject - Distant Universe
Galaxy > Grouping > Cluster
Cosmology > Phenomenon > Lensing
Esahubble_potw1829a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 13h 36m 0.1s
DEC = -3° 31’ 32.4”
Orientation
North is 10.9° CCW
Field of View
2.0 x 1.3 arcminutes
Constellation
Virgo

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Infrared (H) 1.6 µm
Arrow_left_red Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Infrared (J) 1.3 µm
Arrow_left_green Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Arrow_left_blue Hubble Space Telescope (WFC3) Optical (C) 390.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_red
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_blue
Esahubble_potw1829a_1280
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ID
potw1829a
Subject Category
D.5.5.3   D.6.2.1  
Subject Name
6dFGS gJ133600.1-033130, SDSS J1336-0331
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release Date
2018-07-16T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1829a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Red, Red, Green, Blue
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
H, J, V, C
Central Wavelength
1600, 1250, 606, 390
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
204.000298949, -3.52566742259
Reference Dimension
3000.0, 2000.0
Reference Pixel
1716.0, 1064.0
Scale
-1.1009492815803654E-05, 1.1009492815803654E-05
Rotation
10.939999999999991
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Position
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
potw1829a
Metadata Date
2018-06-08T20:32+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.