Mass distribution in the COSMOS field

This image shows a smoothed reconstruction of the total (mostly dark) matter distribution in the COSMOS field, created from data taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes. It was inferred from the weak gravitational lensing distortions that are imprinted onto the shapes of background galaxies. The colour coding indicates the distance of the foreground mass concentrations as gathered from the weak lensing effect. Structures shown in white, cyan, and green are typically closer to us than those indicated in orange and red. To improve the resolution of the map, data from galaxies both with and without redshift information were used.

The new study presents the most comprehensive analysis of data from the COSMOS survey. The researchers have, for the first time ever, used Hubble and the natural "weak lenses" in space to characterise the accelerated expansion of the Universe.


NASA, ESA, P. Simon (University of Bonn) and T. Schrabback (Leiden Observatory)

About the Image

Release date:25 March 2010, 12:00
Related releases:heic1005
Size:1454 x 1417 px

About the Object

Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
Early Universe : Cosmology : Phenomenon : Dark Matter

Image Formats

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360.0 KB
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Position (RA):10 1 15.50
Position (Dec):2° 13' 59.64"
Field of view:12.01 x 11.71 arcminutes
Orientation:North is -0.0° left of vertical

Colours & filters

814 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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