An Early, Calm Galaxy Cluster
Read the news release: https://chandra.si.edu/press/23_releases/press_072023.html
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian, and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
· Hubble Space Telescope image of cluster SPT2215: NASA, STScI; Image processing: N. Wolk.
· Composite Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory image of cluster SPT2215: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/M. Calzadilla; UV/Optical/Near-IR/IR: NASA/STScI/HST; Image processing: N. Wolk.
Music from Music for Non-Profits
Photographs of galaxies, nebulas, a supernova, and other cosmic phenomena flash by. Logo, News from the Universe.
Text, August 4, 2023. Hubble Space Telescope. An early, calm galaxy cluster. A far field image depicts a number of galaxies of different apparent sizes and colors surrounding an extremely bright central galaxy. Text, Earlier in the universe than ever before, scientists have spotted a quiet galaxy cluster that is not interacting with any other cluster.
The cluster, SPT2215, existed when the universe was only 5.3 billion years old, compared to the universe's current age of 13.8 billion years. The image of the distant galaxy changes to an X-ray image, which includes a large bright white sput in the center surrounded by an irregularly shaped blue field which covers part of the galaxy cluster and fades towards its edges. Text, Hubble and Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The smooth, calm appearance of the X-ray-producing gas in this cluster indicates that it has not recently been disrupted by merging with another cluster.
Scientists thought they might not find a quiet galaxy cluster so early in the universe because the clusters would still be growing by mergers, adding more galaxies.
The fact that SPT2215 is massive and quiet in this epoch implies it had an unexpectedly quick formation, a new clue into the deep history of the universe.
This news was brought to you in part by the Chandra X-Ray Center in Cambridge, MA.