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Illusion and Evolution in Galaxy Cluster Abell 2667

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#99082 by @ 06.03.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
Illusion and Evolution in Galaxy Cluster Abell 2667


Explanation:
What's happening to the galaxies of cluster Abell 2667?

On the upper left, a galaxy appears to be breaking up into small pieces, while on the far right, another galaxy appears to be stretched like
taffy.

To start, most of the yellowish objects in the
above image
from the
Hubble Space Telescope are galactic members of a massive
cluster of galaxies known as
Abell 2667.

The distortion of the galaxy on the upper left is real.

As the galaxy plows through the
intercluster
medium
, gas is stripped out and condenses to form bright new knots of stars.

This detailed image of
ram pressure
stripping helps astronomers understand why so many galaxies today have so little gas.

The distortion of the galaxy on the far right, however, is an
illusion.

This nearly normal galaxy is actually far behind the massive galaxy cluster.

Light from this galaxy is
gravitationally lensed
by Abell 2667, appearing much like a distant person would
appear through a wine glass.

Each distorted galaxy
gives important clues about how galaxies and clusters of
galaxies evolve.




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