Snapshot of a Massive Cluster

The massive galaxy cluster Abell 1351 is captured in this image by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. This galaxy cluster lies in the constellation Ursa Major in the northern hemisphere.

This image is filled with streaks of light, which are actually the images of distant galaxies. The streaks are the result of gravitational lensing, an astrophysical phenomenon that occurs when a massive celestial body such as a galaxy cluster distorts spacetime sufficiently strongly to affect the path of light passing through it — almost as if the light were passing through a gigantic lens. Gravitational lensing comes in two varieties — strong and weak — and both can give astronomers an insight into the distribution of mass within a lensing galaxy cluster such as Abell 1351.

This observation is part of an astronomical album comprising snapshots of some of the most massive galaxy clusters. This menagerie of massive clusters demonstrates interesting astrophysical phenomena such as strong gravitational lensing, as well as showcasing spectacular examples of violent galaxy evolution. To obtain this astronomical album, astronomers proposed a Snapshot Program to be slotted into Hubble’s packed observing schedule. These Snapshot Programs are lists of separate, relatively short exposures which can fit into gaps between longer Hubble observations. Having a large pool of Snapshot candidates to dip into allows Hubble to use every second of observing time possible and to maximise the scientific output of the observatory.

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Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, H. Ebeling
Acknowledgement: L. Shatz

About the Image

Id:potw2225a
Type:Observation
Release date:20 June 2022, 06:00
Size:2743 x 2464 px

About the Object

Name:Abell 1351
Constellation:Ursa Major
Category:Star Clusters

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.4 MB
Screensize JPEG
296.7 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
287.9 KB
1280x1024
490.1 KB
1600x1200
743.0 KB
1920x1200
910.5 KB
2048x1536
1.2 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):11 42 24.71
Position (Dec):58° 32' 12.45"
Field of view:2.29 x 2.05 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 43.3° right of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
JH
1.4 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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