Our Giant Universe: Hubble Spots Massive Galaxy Cluster With a Wealth of Exciting Possibilities

Galaxy Cluster Abell 3827

Hubble Space Telescope observation of galaxy cluster Abell 3827. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Massey

This detailed image features Abell 3827, a galaxy cluster that offers a wealth of exciting possibilities for study. It was observed by Hubble in order to study dark matter, which is one of the greatest puzzles cosmologists face today. The science team used Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) to complete their observations. The two cameras have different specifications and can observe different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, so using them both allowed the astronomers to collect more complete information. Abell 3827 has also been observed previously by Hubble, because of the interesting gravitational lens at its core. 

Looking at this cluster of hundreds of galaxies, it is amazing to recall that until less than 100 years ago, many astronomers believed that the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the Universe. The possibility of other galaxies had been debated previously, but the matter was not truly settled until Edwin Hubble confirmed that the Great Andromeda Nebula was in fact far too distant to be part of the Milky Way. The Great Andromeda Nebula became the Andromeda Galaxy, and astronomers recognized that our Universe was much, much bigger than humanity had imagined. We can only imagine how Edwin Hubble — after whom the Hubble Space Telescope was named — would have felt if he’d seen this spectacular image of Abell 3827.

6 Comments on "Our Giant Universe: Hubble Spots Massive Galaxy Cluster With a Wealth of Exciting Possibilities"

  1. BibhutibhusanPatel | May 3, 2021 at 9:36 am | Reply

    We can have a project of experiment to decide univerce is not spherical in shape but rather arbitraryly expanding.Ofcouŕçe an acceleration can benoted.By gravitational lensing mass of each galaxy of clustre Abell3827 can be obtained at different time intervals with theiŕ respective distance from earth.The total graph at different time interval in sequence wiil indicate a direction of variation of mass indipendent of direction of motion,no matter how small this may be.The effect of due to mutual gravitational attaraction must be deĺeted from calculation.Likely,minute change in shape of graphs in time sequence can show universe has arbitrary shape.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 4, 2021 at 10:54 am | Reply

      Re shape of universe, in the last few years large cosmological surveys result in ever tighter bound on a flat 3D universe. A just released paper from the “Completed SDSS-IV extended Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey” sums up the best observation on spatial flatness (absence of curvature):

      Their data “allow constraints on curvature that are now roughly one order of magnitude within the detectable limit of σ(Ω_k) ∼ 0.0001”.

      [ https://journals.aps.org/prd/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevD.103.083533 ]

  2. BibhutibhusanPatel | May 3, 2021 at 10:08 am | Reply

    Abell3827 is a clustùre of galaxies with a gravitational lens at the core.By the determination of mass of each galaxy at different intervals of time by gravitational wave method with their respectivè diatancefrom earth,we can prepare a graph.From the study of the graph at different interval of time in sequence,can able to gather information abòut the shape of universe,that this is arbitrary rather than spherical.Again,can able to verify the fact that masd is changing in a specific direction,though in minute amount common for all the galaxies of clustre from study of graphs in sewuence of time.

  3. O dear I’m so flacid

  4. George Brown | May 9, 2021 at 6:22 am | Reply

    The chaotic nature of entropy lends itself to a spherical universe…but its looking more to be disc shaped. Could a larger unknown force compress the universe against the will of a natural spherical entropy driven shape? The answer lies at the very edge of the observable edge of the universe where the law of 3d physics does not apply.

    • Torbjörn Larsson | May 9, 2021 at 10:33 am | Reply

      Where is the data that says the universe is disk shaped or that “3d physics” stop to apply? And what would entropy, a measure of a system’s available energy, have to do with it?

      The universe has no boundary in general relativity, and the observations of the cosmic background radiation spectra has shown to high precision that the universe is 3d flat.

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