A stunning, intricate image of Abell 3827 was featured by Hubble Space Telescope while attempting to study dark matter. Abell 3872 cluster clearly shows a giant interacting elliptical galaxy that is named ESO 146-5. This galaxy is prominent for its strong gravitational lensing effect, making it one of the gigantic galaxies in the known universe. This image is captured across four different wavelengths, which are combined to produce this phenomenal image.
To capture this image, and complete their observations scientists at Hubble and NASA used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Wide Field Cameras 3 (WFC3) to complete. The advantage of using 2 different cameras is that both have separate specifications and abilities to observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, therefore, their collective use lets the astronomers have better information. Advanced Camera for Survey is third generation axial imaging instrument, which has a high-resolution covering the ultraviolet to the near-infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, along with the ability to complement filters and has coronographic, polarimetric, and grism capacity. WFC3 is one of the most technologically advance and fourth-generation instruments for taking the image at Hubble Space Telescope, which replaced Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in 2009. Its qualities include the capability to image astronomical targets over a wider wavelength and with a larger field of view. Two independent light paths (UV and optical channel) of WFC3 allow it to record images from 200 to 1000nm.
European Space Agency (ESA) added that less than 100 years ago, astronomers were of the view that the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the entire Universe and it was a topic of great debate in history. But, after Edwin Hubble validated the Great Andromeda Nebula is a par of Milky Way, this debate settles for once and for all.
Abell 3872, has several pockets of dark matter, which makes it interesting for astronomers to study. Dark matter accounts for almost 85% of the total matter in the universe. In principle, dark matter means all components of the universe that are not visible but still obey ρ ∝ a−3, but in practice, it is often the non-baryonic component of the dark matter that is considered. Hubble telescope has surprisingly produced huge numbers of giant scale images. It has been around for the last 31 years, snapping the celestial skies and providing images of huge stars and galaxies, that are many folds greater than the sun itself. Abell 3827 is one of the finest additions to the rich catalog of Hubble’s images.
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