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Jun 29, 2021

Clearest images emerge of galaxies headed for collision on intergalactic ‘highway’

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution, satellites

An international group of astronomers has created images with never-before-seen detail of a galaxy cluster with a black hole at its center, traveling at high speed along an intergalactic “road of matter.” The findings also support existing theories of the origins and evolution of the universe.

The concept that roads of thin gas connect clusters of galaxies across the universe has been difficult to prove until recently, because the matter in these ‘roads’ is so sparse it eluded the gaze of even the most sensitive instruments. Following the 2020 discovery of an intergalactic thread of gas at least 50 million light-years long, scientists have now developed images with an unprecedented level of detail of the Northern Clump—a cluster of galaxies found on this thread.

By combining imagery from various sources including CSIRO’s ASKAP radio telescope, SRG/eROSITA, XMM-Newton and Chandra satellites, and DECam , the scientists could make out a large galaxy at the center of the clump, with a black hole at its center.

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