The Lynx Arc: Stretched, Magnified Light From a Supercluster of Blue-White Stars
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Lynx cluster of galaxies shows the doubled image of the red Lynx arc (just right of the center). The mysterious arc is really a distant megacluster of stars lying far behind the galaxy cluster in the northern constellation Lynx.
The arc is the stretched and magnified image of a 12 billion light-year distant star-forming region. This remote source existed when the universe was less than 2 billion years old.
The discovery of this unique and puzzling object was the result of a systematic study of distant clusters of galaxies carried out with major X-ray, optical and infrared telescopes, including the Hubble Space Telescope, ROSAT and the Keck Telescopes.
The Hubble image, taken in deep red light with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, has been color-enhanced using six ground-based images ranging from the blue to the infrared. These images were taken with the Mayall 4-meter Telescope at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona.