Zoom and pan of Abell 370

Scientists have concluded the checkout period for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and now are revealing images showcasing the power of the much-improved observatory. This zoom into the galaxy cluster Abell 370 brings us to a Hubble image that features a prominent arc near the right-hand side of the picture. This is the gravitational lens effect from a background galaxy. Astronomers believe this distortion is caused by dark matter that holds together as many as 1000 galaxies and intergalactic hot gas.

Although Abell 370 has been imaged by other telescopes, this Hubble ACS image is the most detailed yet. In the large, striking orange-coloured arc, the curvature of the arc abruptly changes to turn around the smaller galaxies as the light is warped by their gravity. This prominent arc seems to appear several times in the image as if copied and pasted onto other parts of the sky.

Another incredible example of the level of detail is in the arm of a spiral galaxy at the bottom right in the image. The arm is strongly bent, or distorted by a foreground galaxy.


ESA/Hubble, NASA and the SM4 ERO Team

About the Video

Release date:9 September 2009, 17:00
Related releases:heic0910
Duration:46 s
Frame rate:30 fps

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