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Hubble notices a massive galactic cluster with a wealth of exciting possibilities



Galaxy Cluster Abell 3827Observation of the Hubble Space Telescope of the Abell 3827 Galactic Cluster. Credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, R. Massey

Galaxy Cluster Abell 3827

Observation of the Hubble Space Telescope of the Abell 3827 Galactic Cluster. Credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, R. Massey

This detailed image includes Abell 3827, a cluster of galaxies that offers a wealth of interesting opportunities to explore. He was observed by Hubble to study dark matter, which is one of the biggest puzzles that cosmologists face today. The research team used Hubble’s Advanced Research Camera (ACS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) to complete their observations. The two chambers have different specifications and can observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, so their use allows astronomers to gather more complete information. Abell 3827 was also observed earlier by Hubble, due to the interesting gravitational lens at its base.

Looking at this cluster of hundreds of galaxies, it is astonishing to recall that until less than 100 years ago, many astronomers believed that Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. The possibility of other galaxies was discussed earlier, but the issue was not really resolved 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 realized that our universe was much, much larger than humanity had ever imagined. We can only imagine how Edwin Hubble – after whom Hubble Space Telescope was named – he would have felt if he had seen this spectacular image of Abell 3827.




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