September 10, 2015: Astronomers have discovered a rare beast of a galaxy cluster whose heart is
bursting with new stars. The unexpected find, made with the help of NASA's
Spitzer and Hubble space telescopes, suggests that behemoth galaxies at the
cores of these massive clusters can grow significantly by feeding on gas stolen
from other galaxies. The cluster in the new study, referred to by astronomers
as SpARCS1049+56, has at least 27 galaxy members, and a combined mass equal
to nearly 400 trillion suns. It is located 9.8 billion light-years away in the
Ursa Major constellation. The object was initially discovered using Spitzer and
the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, and confirmed using the W. M. Keck Observatory.
Hubble helped confirm the source of the fuel for the new stars.
To learn more about the behavior of massive galaxy clusters, join the discussion with the scientists during the live Hubble Hangout at 3pm EDT today (Thurs., Sept. 10) at http://hbbl.us/z7P .