Galaxy clusters, containing hundreds or even thousands of individual galaxies embedded in vast clouds of hot gas and dark matter, are the largest gravitationally-bound structures in the universe. They can grow to truly enormous size by pulling in surrounding material – including other galaxies – with their collective gravity.

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a detailed look at a handful of galaxies doing just that, falling directly into the Abell 2142 galaxy cluster, leaving a million-light-year-long trail of million-degree hot gas in its wake.

In the abstract of a paper describing new observations, the in-falling galaxies are described as “the poster child of such an accreting group” and “an ideal target to study the astrophysical processes induced by structure formation.”

Read more


Related Articles


Comments