STScI: A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in This NASA Hubble View

STScI: A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in This NASA Hubble View

STScI: A Lot of Galaxies Need Guarding in This NASA Hubble View

Gravitational lensing explains the swirling arcs of blue light that mark images of the Abell 370. Hubble will also continue to lay the groundwork for future missions, like NASA's James Webb Space Telescope.

In the above interview, Hubble Space Telescope Deputy Project Manager Jim Jeletic tells our Burton Fitzsimmons how the gravitational lensing effect works and also discusses the future of Hubble, arguably the most famous scientific instrument ever built by humans. They could gauge the distribution of normal and dark matter within such clusters.

The new image captured the thousands of galaxies in a cluster known as Abell 370.

This galaxy cluster marks the final frontier for the Frontier Fields.

Abell 370 is located approximately 4 billion light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cetus.

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Each cluster and parallel field were imaged in infrared light by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), and in visible light by its Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). This arc consists of two distorted images of an ordinary spiral galaxy that lies behind the cluster. Instead, the gravity of the cluster acts as a huge lens in space, magnifying and stretching images of background galaxies like a funhouse mirror. In this photograph there is a galaxy that is more than 13 billion years old, forming shortly after the birth of our universe. This ambitious, community-developed collaboration among NASA's Great Observatories and other telescopes harnessed the power of massive galaxy clusters and probed the earliest stages of galaxy development.

And although this is the last Frontier Fields image, astronomers can study its observations for years to come.

NASA plans to launch Hubble's successor, the James Webb Telescope, in 2018.

The largest and brightest galaxies in Abell 370 appear yellow-white. "That's exactly why we call it 'dark matter.' Using an image like the Frontier Field and how it's distorting the galaxies behind it allows us to map out the dark matter".

Now that the observations for the Frontier Fields programme are complete, astronomers can use the full dataset to explore the clusters, their gravitational lensing effects and the magnified galaxies from the early Universe in full detail.

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