Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Motions In Nearby Galaxy Cluster Reveal Presence Of Hidden Superstructure

Date:
September 14, 2004
Source:
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center
Summary:
A nearby galaxy cluster is facing an intergalactic headwind as it is pulled by an underlying superstructure of dark matter, according to new evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Astronomers think most of the matter in the universe is concentrated in long large filaments of dark matter and that galaxy clusters are formed where these filaments intersect.

Chandra X-ray Image of Fornax Cluster (NASA/CXC/Columbia U./C.Scharf et al.)

A nearby galaxy cluster is facing an intergalactic headwind as it is pulled by an underlying superstructure of dark matter, according to new evidence from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Astronomers think that most of the matter in the universe is concentrated in long large filaments of dark matter and that galaxy clusters are formed where these filaments intersect.

Related Articles


A Chandra survey of the Fornax galaxy cluster revealed a vast, swept-back cloud of hot gas near the center of the cluster. This geometry indicates that the hot gas cloud, which is several hundred thousand light years in length, is moving rapidly through a larger, less dense cloud of gas. The motion of the core gas cloud, together with optical observations of a group of galaxies racing inward on a collision course with it, suggests that an unseen, large structure is collapsing and drawing everything toward a common center of gravity.

"At a relatively nearby distance of about 60 million light years, the Fornax cluster represents a crucial laboratory for studying the interplay of galaxies, hot gas and dark matter as the cluster evolves." said Caleb Scharf of Columbia University in New York, NY, lead author of a paper describing the Chandra survey that was presented at an American Astronomical Society meeting in New Orleans, LA. "What we are seeing could be associated directly with the intergalactic gas surrounding a very large scale structure that stretches over millions of light years."

The infalling galaxy group, whose motion was detected by Michael Drinkwater of the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues, is about 3 million light years from the cluster core, so a collision with the core will not occur for a few billion years. Insight as to how this collision will look is provided by the elliptical galaxy NGC 1404 that is plunging into the core of the cluster for the first time. As discussed by Scharf and another group led by Marie Machacek of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., the hot gas cloud surrounding this galaxy has a sharp leading edge and a trailing tail of gas being stripped from the galaxy.

"One thing that makes what we see in Fornax rather compelling is that it looks a lot like some of the latest computer simulations," added Scharf. "The Fornax picture, with infalling galaxies, and the swept back geometry of the cluster gas — seen only with the Chandra resolution and the proximity of Fornax — is one of the best matches to date with these high-resolution simulations."

Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, NGC 1404's orbit will take it through the cluster core several times, most of the gas it contains will be stripped away, and the formation of new stars will cease. In contrast, galaxies that remain outside the core will retain their gas, and new stars can continue to form. Indeed, Scharf and colleagues found that galaxies located in regions outside the core were more likely to show X-ray activity that could be associated with active star formation.

The wide-field and deep X-ray view around Fornax was obtained through ten Chandra pointings, each lasting about 14 hours. Other members of the research team were David Zurek of the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY, and Martin Bureau, a Hubble Fellow currently at Columbia.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington. Northrop Grumman of Redondo Beach, Calif., formerly TRW, Inc., was the prime development contractor for the observatory. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Mass.

Additional information and images are available at:

http://chandra.harvard.edu

and

http://chandra.nasa.gov


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "Motions In Nearby Galaxy Cluster Reveal Presence Of Hidden Superstructure." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040914093037.htm>.
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. (2004, September 14). Motions In Nearby Galaxy Cluster Reveal Presence Of Hidden Superstructure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040914093037.htm
NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center. "Motions In Nearby Galaxy Cluster Reveal Presence Of Hidden Superstructure." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040914093037.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

Spokesman: 'NORAD Ready to Track Santa'

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that NORAD is ready to track Santa Claus as he delivers gifts next week. Speaking tongue-in-cheek, he said if Santa drops anything off his sleigh, "we've got destroyers out there to pick them up." (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

NASA's Planet-Finding Kepler Mission Isn't Over After All

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) More than a year after NASA declared the Kepler spacecraft broken beyond repair, scientists have figured out how to continue getting useful data. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Rover Finds More Clues About Possible Life On Mars

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) NASA's Curiosity rover detected methane on Mars and organic compounds on the surface, but it doesn't quite prove there was life ... yet. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Evidence of Life on Mars? NASA Rover Finds Methane, Organic Chemicals

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 16, 2014) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover finds methane in the Martian atmosphere and organic chemicals in the planet's soil, the latest hint that Mars was once suitable for microbial life. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins