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News Release 10 of 1028

March 10, 2016 01:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2016-08

Telescopes Combine to Push Frontier on Galaxy Clusters

March 10, 2016: To learn more about galaxy clusters, including how they grow via collisions, astronomers have used some of the world's most powerful telescopes, looking at different types of light. They have focused long observations with these telescopes on a half-dozen galaxy clusters. The name for the galaxy cluster project is the "Frontier Fields." Two of these Frontier Fields galaxy clusters, MACS J0416.1-2403 (abbreviated MACS J0416) in the right panel and MACS J0717.5+3745 (MACS J0717 for short) in the left panel, are featured here in a pair of multiwavelength images.

Located about 4.3 billion light-years from Earth, MACS J0416 is a pair of colliding galaxy clusters that will eventually combine to form an even bigger cluster. MACS J0717, one of the most complex and distorted galaxy clusters known, is the site of a collision between four clusters. It is located about 5.4 billion light-years away from Earth. These new images of MACS J0416 and MACS J0717 contain data from three different telescopes: NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (diffuse emission in blue), Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, and blue), and the National Science Foundation's Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (diffuse emission in pink). Where the X-ray and radio emission overlap the image appears purple. Astronomers also used data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India in studying the properties of MACS J0416.

For more information about these new images, visit: http://chandra.si.edu/photo/2016/frontier/index.html .

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Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC, NRAO/AUI/NSF, STScI, R. van Weeren (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), and G. Ogrean (Stanford University)

Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, J. Lotz (STScI), and the HFF team