Where In The Universe #112

Here’s this week’s Where In The Universe Challenge. You know what to do: take a look at this image and see if you can determine where in the universe this image is from; give yourself extra points if you can name the instrument responsible for the image. We’ll provide the image today, but won’t reveal the answer until tomorrow. This gives you a chance to mull over the image and provide your answer/guess in the comment section. Please, no links or extensive explanations of what you think this is — give everyone the chance to guess.

UPDATE: Answer now posted below!

This is cluster Abell 901b, taken in 2008 by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Hubble has mapped the invisible dark matter as well as the detailed structure of individual galaxies embedded in it. The magenta clumps throughout the image reveal the distribution of dark matter in the cluster. You can see a larger image of the entire Abell supercluster, as well as more information, at the HubbleSite.

9 Replies to “Where In The Universe #112”

  1. I won’t say NGC 1132, but otherwise, my answer would have been a combination of Mr. Crowell’s and Ringman’s answers.

  2. Navneeth, NGC 1132 is the closest match. I have found an image of this, which focuses in on a different scale and appears somewhat different. A quick look at the appearance of some nearby objects seems to be a close match. However, I am not entirely certain as yet.


  3. I agree it is Abell 901b. This matches much better than what I said.


  4. @Navneeth,

    This image may look similar to pix of galaxy clusters with optical and x-ray images superposed (i.e. funky colors). But everything in this picture was imaged (or derived) by Hubble alone. 60,000 background galaxies in over 100 fields in and around Abell 901-902 were were imaged by Hubble, looking for signs of weak lensing. This weak lensing data was then used to derive the location of dark matter in the galaxy cluster, to a precision some 2.5X better than previous DM maps. This DM map was assigned a magenta color and overlaid a optical view of this supercluster. The Hubblesite link has many more images of the DM distribution in Abell 901-902.

    So, um…..yes, Hubble does the funky colors too! 🙂

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