Abell 2384: a bridge between galaxy clusters

The Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured a bridge of cosmic gas connecting two gigantic galaxy clusters.

Abell 2384, by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/V.Parekh, et al. & ESA/XMM-Newton; Radio: NCRA/TIFR/GMRT; Optical: DSS

A bright, superheated arch of gas spans the distance between two vast galaxy clusters in this composite optical, X-ray and radio image.

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The ‘bridge’ of Abell 2384, 1.2 billion lightyears from Earth, is an unusual remnant of a past collision between the two clusters.

Over 3 million lightyears wide and with a mass of 6 trillion Suns, it appears to bend as the result of jets shooting out from a supermassive black hole at the heart of the southern galaxy cluster.

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Observatories NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory; ESA XMM-Newton; Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope

Release date 11 May 2020

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Image credit Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/V.Parekh, et al. & ESA/XMM-Newton; Radio: NCRA/TIFR/GMRT; Optical: DSS