Hubble image of galaxy cluster MACS J1206

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy cluster MACS J1206. Galaxy clusters like these have enormous mass, and their gravity is powerful enough to visibly bend the path of light, somewhat like a magnifying glass.

These so-called lensing clusters are useful tools for studying very distant objects, because this lens-like behaviour amplifies the light from faraway galaxies in the background. They also contribute to a range of topics in cosmology, as the precise nature of the lensed images encapsulates information about the properties of spacetime and the expansion of the cosmos.

This is one of 25 clusters being studied as part of the CLASH (Cluster Lensing and Supernova survey with Hubble) programme, a major project to build a library of scientific data on lensing clusters.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI) and the CLASH Team

About the Image

NASA caption
Id:heic1115a
Type:Observation
Release date:13 October 2011, 15:00
Related releases:heic1115
Size:2564 x 2328 px

About the Object

Name:MACS J1206.2-0847
Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
• X - Cosmology Images/Videos
Distance:4 billion light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
R
625 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
775 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
Z
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
near-IR
1.05 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
near-IR
1.25 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
near-IR
1.4 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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