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News Release Archive:

News Release 32 of 121

August 19, 2010 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-26

First Use of Cosmic Lens to Probe Dark Energy

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Image: Dark Matter Map in Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689

Dark Matter Map in Galaxy Cluster Abell 1689STScI-PRC2010-26

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

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

Credit: NASA, ESA, E. Jullo (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), P. Natarajan (Yale University), and J.-P. Kneib (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, CNRS, France)

Acknowledgment: H. Ford and N. Benetiz (Johns Hopkins University), and T. Broadhurst (Tel Aviv University)

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