Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Galaxy Cluster Magnifies Distant Supernova
Posted on 05/05/2014 6:54:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: How do you calibrate a huge gravitational lens? In this case the lens is the galaxy cluster Abell 383, a massive conglomeration of galaxies, hot gas, and dark matter that lies about 2.5 billion light years away (redshift z=0.187). What needs calibrating is the mass of the cluster, in particular the amount and distribution of dark matter. A new calibration technique has been tested recently that consists of waiting for supernovas of a very specific type to occur behind a galaxy cluster, and then figuring out how much the cluster must have magnified these supernovas through gravitational lensing. This technique complements other measures including computing the dark matter needed to contain internal galaxy motions, to confine cluster hot gas, and to create the gravitational lens image distortions. Pictured above from the Hubble Space Telescope, galaxy cluster A383 shows its gravitational lens capabilities on the right by highly distorting background galaxies behind the cluster center. On the left is a distant galaxy shown both before and after a recent revealing supernova. To date, calibration-quality supernovas of Type Ia have been found behind two other galaxy clusters by the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) project.
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[Credit: NASA, ESA, C. McCully (Rutgers U.) et al.]
That’s cool because it gives us an idea of the SCALE, and AWESOME IMMENSE SIZE of what we are looking at! :-)
Thank You, Sunken Civ!
Wow! Galaxies 2.5 billion years ago. Utterly fascinating.
Neato supernova spotting and studying method as well, from a place long, long ago and far, far away. ;-)
The exact same way one can look at that photo and still be *convinced* the entire universe is only 6018 years old.
Not yet approved by FDA for humans.
“I will be home late, dear. I have to go recalibrate Abell 383. Yeah, it’s a real cluster!”