Lensing cluster Abell 383

The giant galaxy cluster in the centre of this image contains so much dark matter mass that its gravity bends the light of more distant objects. This means that for very distant galaxies in the background, the cluster’s gravitational field acts as a sort of magnifying glass, bending and concentrating the distant object’s light towards Hubble. These gravitational lenses are one tool astronomers can use to extend Hubble’s vision beyond what it would normally be capable of observing. This way some of the very first galaxies in the Universe can be studied by astronomers.

The lensing effect can also be used to determine the distribution of matter — both ordinary and dark matter — within the cluster.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, J. Richard (CRAL) and J.-P. Kneib (LAM). Acknowledgement: Marc Postman (STScI)

About the Image

NASA caption
Id:heic1106a
Type:Observation
Release date:12 April 2011, 15:00
Related releases:heic1718, heic1106
Size:2417 x 2380 px

About the Object

Name:Abell 383
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
Distance:z=0.187 (redshift)
Constellation:Eridanus
Category:Cosmology

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Coordinates

Position (RA):2 48 2.92
Position (Dec):-3° 31' 50.68"
Field of view:2.01 x 1.98 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.2° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
R
775 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
Z
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
Near-IR
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
Near-IR
1.25 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
Near-IR
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
Near-IR
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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