heavenly lights

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English: Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have discovered a ghostly ring of dark matter that formed long ago during a titanic collision between two massive galaxy clusters. The ring’s discovery is among the strongest evidence yet that dark matter exists. Astronomers have long suspected the existence of the invisible substance as the source of additional gravity that holds together galaxy clusters. Such clusters would fly apart if they relied only on the gravity from their visible stars. Although astronomers don’t know what dark matter is made of, they hypothesize that it is a type of elementary particle that pervades the universe.
This Hubble composite image shows the ring of dark matter in the galaxy cluster CL 0024+17. The ring-like structure is evident in the blue map of the cluster’s dark matter distribution. The map was derived from Hubble observations of how the gravity of the cluster Cl 0024+17 distorts the light of more distant galaxies, an optical illusion called gravitational lensing. Although astronomers cannot see dark matter, they can infer its existence by mapping the distorted shapes of the background galaxies. The map is superimposed on a Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys image of the cluster taken in November 2004.
Slovenščina: Prstenec tmavej hmoty v kope galaxií CL0024+17. Snímku zhotovil Hubblov vesmírny ďalekohľad v novembri 2004. Prstenec tmavej hmoty má priemer 5 miliónov svetelných rokov. Vznikol pravdepodobne zrážkou dvoch kôp galaxií. (kľúčové slová: tmavá hmota, galaxia, alebo CL0024+17, dark matter, gravitational lensing).
Date 15 May 2007
Source http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/2007/17/image/a/ (direct link)
Author NASA, ESA, M.J. Jee and H. Ford (Johns Hopkins University)
(Reusing this file)
Public domain This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA and ESA. NASA Hubble material (and ESA Hubble material prior to 2009) is copyright-free and may be freely used as in the public domain without fee, on the condition that only NASA, STScI, and/or ESA is credited as the source of the material. This license does not apply if ESA material created after 2008 or source material from other organizations is in use.
The material was created for NASA by Space Telescope Science Institute under Contract NAS5-26555, or for ESA by the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre. Copyright statement at hubblesite.org or 2008 copyright statement at spacetelescope.org. For material created by the European Space Agency on the spacetelescope.org site since 2009, use the {{ESA-Hubble}} tag.


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