MACS J0025.4-1222: A Clash of Clusters Provides Another Clue to Dark Matter (A powerful collision of two galaxy clusters about 5.6 billion light years away.)
Description: This image shows a system where two massive galaxy clusters have collided and in doing so have forced the separation between dark and "normal" matter. X-rays from Chandra (pink) show where most of the normal, or baryonic, matter in the cluster resides. Optical data from Hubble (blue) is used to trace the mass. This result helps answer a crucial question about whether dark matter interacts with itself in ways other than via gravitational forces. It also shows that the Bullet Cluster, a similar system, was not an exception and that the earlier results were not the product of some unknown error.
Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory
NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray
Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Gift line: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Stanford/S.Allen; Optical/Lensing: NASA/STScI/UC Santa Barbara/M.Bradac
Accession number: macsj0025