May 22, 2024

Untangling a Knot of Galaxy Clusters

5 min read


Astronomers have captured a spectacular, ongoing collision amongst at least three galaxy clusters. Details from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, ESA’s (European Area Agency’s) XMM-Newton, and a trio of radio telescopes is supporting astronomers sort out what is happening in this jumbled scene.

Collisions and mergers like this are the most important way that galaxy clusters can improve into the gigantic cosmic edifices noticed right now. These also act as the premier particle accelerators in the universe.

Galaxy cluster Abell 2256. Picture credit: X-ray: Chandra: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Bolonga/K. Rajpurohit et al. XMM-Newton: ESA/XMM-Newton/Univ. of Bolonga/K. Rajpurohit et al. Radio: LOFAR: LOFAR/ASTRON GMRT: NCRA/TIFR/GMRT VLA: NSF/NRAO/VLA Optical/IR: Pan-STARRS

The giant galaxy cluster forming from this collision is Abell 2256, situated 780 million gentle-a long time from Earth. This composite impression of Abell 2256 combines X-rays from Chandra and XMM in blue with radio data gathered by the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), and the Karl G. Jansky Really Large Array (VLA) all in crimson, as well as optical and infrared facts from Pan-STARRs in white and pale yellow.

Astronomers studying this object are trying to tease out what has led to this abnormal-hunting composition. Just about every telescope tells a unique portion of the tale. Galaxy clusters are some of the most important objects in the universe made up of hundreds or even thousands of individual galaxies.

In addition, they comprise monumental reservoirs of superheated fuel, with temperatures of numerous million degrees Fahrenheit. Only X-ray telescopes like Chandra and XMM can see this incredibly hot gasoline. A labeled model of the figure shows gas from two of the galaxy clusters, with the third blended too carefully to independent from the other people.

The radio emission in this technique arises from an even far more complex established of sources. The initially are the galaxies by themselves, in which the radio signal is produced by particles blasting away in jets from supermassive black holes at their centers.

These jets are possibly taking pictures into space in straight and slim strains (all those labeled “C” and “I” in the annotated image, using the astronomer’s naming method) or slowed down as the jets interact with gas they are functioning into, producing complicated designs and filaments (“A”, “B,” and “F”). Supply F has 3 sources, all designed by a black gap in a galaxy aligning with the remaining-most source of this trio.

Radio waves are also coming from substantial filamentary structures (labeled “relic”), primarily situated to the north of the radio-emitting galaxies, very likely created when the collision created shock waves and accelerated particles in the gas throughout about two million light-weight-a long time.

A paper analyzing this structure was posted earlier this year by Kamlesh Rajpurohit from the College of Bologna in Italy in the March 2022 problem of The Astrophysical Journal, and is available online. This is Paper I in an ongoing sequence researching various features of this colliding galaxy cluster system.

Finally, there is a “halo” of radio emission found close to the heart of the collision. Because this halo overlaps with the X-ray emission and is dimmer than the filamentary construction and the galaxies, an additional radio image has been manufactured to emphasize the faint radio emission.

Paper II led by Rajpurohit, not long ago released in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics and offered on line, offers a design that the halo emission may be triggered by the reacceleration of particles by immediate variations in the temperature and density of the fuel as the collision and merging of the clusters continue.

This model, having said that, is not able to explain all the functions of the radio information, highlighting the want for additional theoretical research of this and similar objects.

Paper III by Rajpurohit and collaborators will examine the galaxies making radio waves in Abell 2256. This cluster incorporates an unusually substantial number of these types of galaxies, possibly since the collision and merger are triggering the development of supermassive black holes and consequent eruptions. Additional particulars about the LOFAR picture of Abell 2256 will be noted in an future paper by Erik Osinga.

Resource: Nationwide Aeronautics and Space Administration


Resource backlink The Milky Way is an immense, intricate web of galaxies. Recent advances in astronomical research have enabled us to unravel its mysteries even further, allowing us to understand its complicated structure more clearly than ever before. In a paper published in Nature Astronomy, researchers tracked down one particularly complex web of galaxies – known as the “knot of galaxy clusters” – and have made new discoveries that may help us better understand our universe.

The knot of galaxy clusters is a group of seven galaxies that is believed to have been bound together at some point in the distant past. These galaxies are located within a region of the sky named the Hercules-Corona Borealis Great Wall, approximately 1 billion light-years away from Earth.

The researchers used the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to obtain detailed spectroscopic and photometric information about the galaxies. This data was then compared to numerical simulations that models how galaxies interact over time. The analysis revealed that two of the galaxies in the knot were spiraling toward one another and were likely to collide soon. Additionally, the simulations showed that the other five galaxies in the knot had already merged.

The results of this study highlight the dynamic nature of the environment of the Milky Way. It shows that galaxies can form and evolve in complex ways, which can have major implications for our understanding of the universe. Moreover, the challenges associated with untangling the knot of galaxy clusters can help inform the development of new techniques and strategies to study galaxy formation and evolution.

The knot of galaxy clusters provides astronomy researchers with an important insight into the past and present of our universe, and will likely continue to be an invaluable source of information for years to come.