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Abell 1758: Cluster Collisions Switch on Radio Halos
Abell 1758
Abell 1758
Abell 1758

  • This composite image shows the effect of a collision between two small galaxy clusters

  • Abell 1758 is a galaxy cluster located about 3.2 billion light years from Earth

  • Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the Universe bound together by gravity

This is a composite image of the northern part of the galaxy cluster Abell 1758, located about 3.2 billion light years from Earth, showing the effects of a collision between two smaller galaxy clusters. Chandra X-ray data (blue) reveals hot gas in the cluster and data from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT) in India (pink) shows huge "halos" generated by ultra-relativistic particles and magnetic fields over vast scales. Optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey are colored gold.

A study of this galaxy cluster and 31 others with Chandra and the GMRT shows that huge radio halos are generated during collisions between galaxy clusters. This result implies that galaxy clusters with radio halos are still forming, while clusters without this radio emission are not still accumulating large amounts of material. The result also implies that relativistic electrons are likely accelerated by turbulence generated by mergers between clusters

Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the Universe that are bound together by gravity. They form when smaller clusters or groups of galaxies collide and merge. Collisions between galaxy clusters, such as this one in Abell 1758 and its more famous cousin the Bullet Cluster, are the most energetic events in the Universe since the Big Bang. Their growth rate over the last 7 billion years has been slowed by the effects of dark energy, as shown by previous studies with Chandra.

Fast Facts for Abell 1758:
Credit  X-ray (NASA/CXC/SAO/M.Markevitch); Radio (TIFR/GMRTSAO/INAF/R.Cassano, S.Giacintucci); Optical (DSS)
Release Date  August 30, 2010
Scale  Image is about 13 arcmin across (about 12 million light years).
Category  Groups & Clusters of Galaxies, Cosmology/Deep Fields/X-ray Background
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 13h 32m 43.02s | Dec +50° 32´ 25.70"
Constellation  Canes Venatici
Observation Date  Aug 28, 2001
Observation Time  16 hours 40 min
Obs. ID  2213
Instrument  ACIS
Color Code  X-ray (Blue); Radio (Pink); Optical (Gold)
Distance Estimate  About 3.2 Billion Light Years
distance arrow
Visitor Comments (8)

In the x-ray image, what are the points surrounding the emissions from the cluster itself?

Posted by Vmb on Tuesday, 01.6.15 @ 14:50pm

I think this is the only site I've visited that shows images from radio, visible, and x-ray wavelengths superimposed. This really has a big impact, and makes it possible to imagine the processes going on better. Thanks for this!

Posted by leonard on Wednesday, 08.28.13 @ 14:16pm

Dear Marvin,
Thanks for your interesting question. It is possible that a few of the galaxies within the clusters will merge, but nearly all of them should remain relatively unaffected, as is being seen in the galaxy cluster collision that is occurring in the Bullet Cluster. There is a lot of empty space between galaxies in a cluster.
P. Edmonds for CXC

Posted by P. Edmonds on Tuesday, 10.26.10 @ 10:27am

When these galaxy cluster are in the process of merging maybe some of the galaxies in them possibly merge also.

Marvin L. S.

Posted by Marvin L. S. on Sunday, 10.3.10 @ 02:11am

Sir, The existence of and the collision after effects of galaxy clusters is well explained. I wonder how many other civilizations in the universe would have seen this?
Thank you all for your dedication in helping us laymen understand this complex phenomenon.

Posted by Anil Kumar Sharma on Monday, 09.6.10 @ 14:10pm

Wish I could live another 60 years, simply to witness, as time advances, the fantastic discoveries waiting to be made.

Posted by Zingara on Thursday, 09.2.10 @ 21:09pm

This is very nice image.

Posted by haider on Wednesday, 09.1.10 @ 07:37am

The explanation and details provided in this page is so nicely arranged.
The picture is very beautiful.

Posted by Tushar on Tuesday, 08.31.10 @ 12:18pm

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