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Intracluster light in Abell S1063 | by europeanspaceagency
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Intracluster light in Abell S1063

Abell S1063, a galaxy cluster, was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Frontier Fields programme. The huge mass of the cluster — containing both baryonic matter and dark matter — acts as cosmic magnification glass and deforms objects behind it. In the past astronomers used this gravitational lensing effect to calculate the distribution of dark matter in galaxy clusters.

 

A more accurate and faster way, however, is to study the intracluster light (visible in blue), which follows the distribution of dark matter.

 

Credits: NASA, ESA, and M. Montes (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia), CC BY 4.0

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Uploaded on December 21, 2018