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Hubble sees massive Galaxy cluster with a host of exciting possibilities



Galaxy Cluster Abell 3827Hubble Space Telescope observation of galaxy cluster Abell 3827. Credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, R. Massey

Galaxy Cluster Abell 3827

Hubble Space Telescope observation of galaxy cluster Abell 3827. Credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, R. Massey

This detailed image contains Abell 3827, a galaxy cluster that offers a wealth of exciting study opportunities. It was observed by Hubble to study dark matter, which is one of the greatest riddles cosmologists face today. The science team used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) to complete their observations. The two cameras have different specifications and can observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, so both astronomers used to gather more complete information. Abell 3827 has also been observed previously by Hubble due to the interesting gravitational lens in its core.

Looking at this cluster of hundreds of galaxies, it is astonishing to remember that until less than 100 years ago, many astronomers believed that The Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. The possibility of other galaxies had previously been discussed, but the matter was not really settled until Edwin Hubble confirmed that the great Andromeda nebula was actually too far away to be part of the Milky Way. The great Andromeda nebula became the Andromeda Galaxy, and astronomers recognized that our universe was much, much larger than humanity had imagined. We can only imagine how Edwin Hubble – after whom Hubble Space Telescope was named – would have felt if he had seen this spectacular image of Abell 3827.




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