This is the Hubble Space Telescope image of the inner region of Abell 1689, an immense cluster of galaxies located 2.2 billion light-years away. Dark matter in the cluster is mapped by plotting the plethora of arcs produced by the light from background galaxies that is warped by the foreground cluster's gravitational field. Dark matter cannot be photographed, but its distribution is shown in the blue overlay. The dark matter concentration and distribution is then used to better understand the nature of dark energy, a pressure that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. The imaging data used in the natural-color photo was taken in 2002 with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Object Name: Abell 1689
Image Type: Astronomical
Acknowledgment: H. Ford and N. Benetiz (Johns Hopkins University), and T. Broadhurst (Tel Aviv University)
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