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The Internet has got a fascinating snapshot of the collision of galaxies

photo: spacetelescope.org

Astronomers say that a beautiful image in blue, purple and pinkish colours only outwardly seems peaceful. Actually to those who look at the photo, appears a moment of cosmic cataclysm, the scale of which is difficult to imagine. To get a shot, experts combined data obtained with three different telescopes: the orbiting Observatory Hubble, x-ray Chandra Observatory, ground-based VLA radio telescope. The image experts have called «cosmic kaleidoscope».

MACS J0416 the object is located at a distance of 4.3 billion light years from Earth in the constellation of Eridanus — this means that really what we see, happened 4.3 billion years ago. The mass of the cluster exceeds the mass of our galaxy in the 420 times. It is assumed that in MACS J0416 contains a lot of dark matter — in the picture it distorts the image of galaxies located «in the background». Professionals by the photo can also conclude that dark matter it is mixed with hot gas. This means that the merge of two clusters has not yet ended, otherwise, the gas and dark matter are divided. Also that MACS J0416 while only is formed as an object, shows a rate of star formation in it.

MACS J0416.1-2403 is a very interesting study object. Its mass is so great that it plays the role of the so-called «gravitational lens», amplifying the light of galaxies farther away from Earth. This, in turn, helps astrophysicists to see objects that appeared after hundreds of million years after the Big Bang — that is, by the standards of space, almost immediately.

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