Strings of homeless stars

This sparkling Picture of the Week features a massive galaxy cluster named RXC J0232.2-4420. This image was taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide-Field Camera 3 as part of an observing programme called RELICS (Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey). RELICS imaged 41 massive galaxy clusters with the aim of finding the brightest distant galaxies for the forthcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to study.

The enormous gravitational influence of such clusters distorts the space around them in such a way that they can be used as giant cosmic lenses that magnify distant background galaxies. Studying some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe will tell us more about our cosmic origins.

RXC J0232.2-4420 also featured in a study that focused on galaxy clusters that are especially luminous sources of X-rays . The study searched for diffuse light around the brightest galaxies in the clusters, among the most massive galaxies in the Universe. This diffuse light comes from intergalactic stars strung out between the constituent galaxies of the cluster and the aim of the study was to explore various theories for the origins of these stars. One theory is that they may have been stripped from their host galaxies during mergers and interactions.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS

About the Image

Id:potw1824a
Type:Observation
Release date:11 June 2018, 06:00
Size:4771 x 4092 px

About the Object

Name:RXC J0232.2-4420
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Cluster
Early Universe : Cosmology : Phenomenon : Lensing
Constellation:Eridanus
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
8.0 MB
Screensize JPEG
245.9 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
224.8 KB
1280x1024
395.8 KB
1600x1200
638.9 KB
1920x1200
843.3 KB
2048x1536
1.2 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):2 32 18.05
Position (Dec):-44° 20' 48.37"
Field of view:2.39 x 1.00 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 113.0° 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
Z
1.05 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J/H
1.4 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J
1.25 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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