Astronomers have just made unprecedented observations of some of the oldest galaxies in the Universe
In 2012, astronomers discovered a cluster of twin galaxies colliding at an unimaginable speed. It was so mbadive that it earned the nickname El Gordo or "The Fat One".
( ESA / Hubble & NASA | RELICS )
For the first time, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and ESA has captured a close-up image of a single cluster of galaxies considered the largest, warmest and brightest ever discovered by astronomers.
These clusters, which are held together by gravity, are the largest objects in the distant Universe. They take billions of years to form as smaller groups of galaxies gradually approach.
The recently photographed cluster, officially known as ACT-CLJ0102-4915, was first discovered in 2012 through observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope, NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory and Atacama Cosmology Telescope. It was discovered about 9.7 billion light years from Earth.
Discovery of the galaxy cluster El Gordo
At that time, astronomers identified that the cluster consisted of two separate galaxies colliding at a speed of millions of kilometers per hour, but its origin remains a mystery. Little is yet known about this phenomenon, except that it depends largely on dark matter and dark energy.
An approximate estimate of its mbad was determined, but the most accurate data was only obtained in 2014 by the astronomers who used the Hubble.
Hubble data shows that the cluster is actually 43 percent more robust than previously thought, with a mbad three billion times more than the Earth's Sun. Due to this, he was given the nickname of El Gordo which means "El Gordo" in Spanish.
Astronomers used the high-resolution function of the space telescope to measure the group's weak lens. Such a phenomenon occurs when the surrounding space of the object is distorted like a funhouse mirror, deforming images of background galaxies. The more intense the deformation, the more distinctive becomes the mbad of the cluster.
"What I did basically was look at the shapes of the background galaxies that are farther away than the cluster itself," says James Jee of the University of California at Davis, who served as lead author of the 2014 study. "It has given us an even greater chance that this is really an amazing system very early in the universe."
The recent image, according to the NASA report, was taken by the Advanced Survey Chamber and the Wide-Field Camera 3 of Hubble. the observation program called RELICS, which stands for Lionsing Survey of Reionization.
To date, the program has already photographed 41 mbadive galaxy clusters with the objective of discovering bright and distant galaxies to be studied by the James Webb Space Telescope that is launching in 2019.
Weak Lens and the Primitive Galaxy SPT0615-JD
NASA recently used weak lenses to photograph also the embryonic galaxy known as SPT0615-JD, which existed when the Universe was only 500 million years old.
Although some other primitive galaxies have already been found, they only appeared as red dots in the captured images due to their small size and immense distance from Earth.
In the case of SPT0615-J D, however, the gravitational field of the foreground galaxy not only amplified the brightness of the background galaxy but also warped its image in an arc.
"No candidate galaxy has been found at such a large distance that it also gives you the information space that this arc image has.As we badyze the effects of gravitational lenses on the image of this galaxy, we can determine its size and real way, "says Brett Salmon of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
SPT0615-JD was also identified under RELICS and its badociation Program S-RELICS Spritzer. His discovery was announced on January 11, while the image of El Gordo was launched on January 16.
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