Cosmic RELICS

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image seems to sink into the screen, plunging the viewer into the dark depths of the early Universe. Massive galaxy clusters — such as the subject of this image, Abell 1300 — help us to better understand the cosmos. They are essentially giant natural telescopes, magnifying the light from any galaxies sitting behind them and helping us peer further back in time.

This bizarre kind of time travel is possible due to a phenomenon called gravitational lensing, whereby the gravitational influence of a massive object such as Abell 1300 acts like a lens, bending the very fabric of space around it and thus causing more distant light to move in a curved path. To the observer, the source of the light — a background object such as a primordial galaxy, for example — appears both distorted and magnified. The lensing power of massive clusters has helped us to discover some of the most distant known galaxies in the Universe. Hubble has observed this phenomenon many times; see a selection of images here.

This image was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 as part of an observing program called RELICS. The program imaged 41 massive galaxy clusters over the course of 390 Hubble orbits and 100 Spitzer Space Telescope observing hours, aiming to find the brightest distant galaxies. Studying these galaxies in more detail with both current telescopes and the future NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will hopefully tell us more about our cosmic origins.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

About the Image

Id:potw1745a
Type:Observation
Release date:6 November 2017, 06:00
Size:6777 x 6566 px

About the Object

Name:Abell 1300
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
Distance:z=0.307 (redshift)
Constellation:Crater
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
22.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
231.6 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
215.9 KB
1280x1024
367.3 KB
1600x1200
591.2 KB
1920x1200
788.9 KB
2048x1536
1.1 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):11 31 54.39
Position (Dec):-19° 55' 24.55"
Field of view:3.39 x 3.28 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 21.1° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
Wide J
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J
1.25 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J/H
1.4 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

Also see our


Accelerated by CDN77