Three Million Light-Year Long Bridge Between Two Galaxy Clusters Warped by Supermassive Black Hole

Bridge Between Galaxy Clusters Abell 2384 Annotated

A composite view of the Abell 2384 system, comprising two galaxy clusters located 1.2 billion light years from Earth.

A new study, based on data from ESA’s XMM-Newton and NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatories, sheds new light on a three million light-year long bridge of hot gas linking two galaxy clusters, whose shape is being bent by the mighty activity of a nearby supermassive black hole.

Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity. They contain hundreds or thousands of galaxies, vast amounts of multi-million-degree gas that shines brightly in X-rays, and enormous reservoirs of unseen dark matter.

Bridge Between Galaxy Clusters Abell 2384 X Ray View Annotated

An X-ray view of the Abell 2384 system, comprising two galaxy clusters located 1.2 billion light years from Earth.

The system portrayed in these images, called Abell 2384, is located 1.2 billion light years from Earth and comprises an overall mass of over 260 trillion times the mass of the Sun. In this case, the two galaxy clusters collided and then passed through each other, releasing a flood of hot gas from each cluster that formed an unusual bridge between the two objects.

The X-ray view from XMM-Newton and Chandra is shown in blue, alongside observations in radio waves performed with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India (shown in red) and optical data from the Digitized Sky Survey (shown in yellow). The new multi-wavelength view reveals the effects of a jet shooting away from a supermassive black hole in the center of a galaxy in one of the clusters.

Bridge Between Galaxy Clusters Abell 2384 Radio View Annotated

A view of the Abell 2384 system, comprising two galaxy clusters located 1.2 billion light years from Earth, based on radio waves observations from the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope in India.

The jet is so powerful that it is bending the shape of the gas bridge, which has a mass equivalent to about six trillion Suns. At the collision site, where the jet is pushing the hot gas in the bridge, astronomers found evidence for a shock front, similar to a sonic boom from a supersonic aircraft, which can keep the gas hot and prevent it from cooling to form new stars.

Objects like Abell 2384 are important for astronomers to understand the growth of galaxy clusters.

Computer simulations indicate that, after such a collision, galaxy clusters oscillate like a pendulum and pass through each other several times before merging to form a larger cluster. Based on these simulations, astronomers think that the two clusters in this system will eventually merge.

The study describing this work, led by Viral Parekh of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and Rhodes University, South Africa, was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in January.

Reference: ” A rare case of FR I interaction with a hot X-ray bridge in the A2384 galaxy cluster” by V Parekh, T F Laganá, K Thorat, K van der Heyden, A Iqbal and F Durret, 4 November 2019, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz3067

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

22 Comments on "Three Million Light-Year Long Bridge Between Two Galaxy Clusters Warped by Supermassive Black Hole"

  1. Gadfly Giznot | May 12, 2020 at 8:52 pm | Reply

    Uh, I think the bridge required to pull together all the assumptions made in this article might be longer than the one between these two galaxies. These guys always believe simulations = reality. The only thing that can be pretty clearly discerned is that the two galaxies are linked, all the rest is assumption based on standard scientifically unconfirmed blind faith. And how does gas stay hot in the vacuum of space? And columnized? Across 3 MILLION lightyears? Before piling on all the assumptions as if they actually know something, they need to answer that.

    • It’s a daily digest article. It gives the bare minimum info to get the point across. Nowhere does it say they’re using simulations to explain what’s happening “currently”, that’s all from the observational data. The only mention of simulation is in predicting the future state of the cluster. That’s exactly what a simulation should be used for, I don’t see where it’s being used in place of real data.
      As for your hot gas question, it’s right in the article too; a shock front. Saying “they need to answer that” to something they’ve already answered makes it look like you didn’t actually read the article.
      If that’s not enough for you, once again, this is just a short article. Luckily for you, they named the exact study this data comes from, named the journal it was published in, and also provided a clickable link.
      Try that if you feel the article doesn’t have all the data. They never do, that’s not the point of them.

      • Gadfly Giznot | May 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Reply

        3 million light years is an incredible distance to explain a very tangible and obvious connection that includes magnetic fields and the maintaining of hot gas without a more immediate source, and shock fronts and the other usual suspects are very poor explanations. And the article starts off assuming mergers, which is a best guess. There’s just too many assertions basically presented as fact in astrophysics that has no basis in scientific experimental research that’s verifiable/repeatable, and there are way too many theories/assertions that can be disproved, which may be an even bigger problem. Yet there are whole systems of very rigid doctrines and beliefs in place presented as undisputed fact. Anyway, just ranting now, but it would be refreshing to see more articles that first present the facts/data, then interpretations, then even counter interpretations or the ways the data does not line up with the stated interpretations, which is pretty much always the inevitable case.

  2. Gadfly away from here | May 12, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Reply

    Yeah, you probably know better than all those scientists working to collect this data.

  3. Manish Patil | May 13, 2020 at 10:46 am | Reply

    Hey Giznot, sour grapes? Those are galaxy cluster not galaxy

    • Gadfly Giznot | May 13, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Reply

      Correct you are, Manish Patil. And no Gadfly away from here, I do not (though if you separate the assumptions in this article from what can actually be called data, there’s precious little of the latter). But each of your responses are poor substitutes for actually addressing the issues, or in this case, the questions I put forth. So, please either answer the questions, or point out why these are not legitimate questions, or of course you can remain silent and reveal you really have nothing useful to contribute.

  4. Paul Glen Nielsen | May 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Reply

    Uhmmm…Energy is equal to Mass times the Speed of light squared. I can count to potato!

  5. Well done Gadfly. Computers are there to support our thinking not replace it.
    There are two possibilities I see for the creation of this situation. First the galaxy nearest the black hole at the bottom of the picture has moved from the left closer to the black hole.
    More likely it is a white hole (I disagree with the idea that a black hole acts with anti gravity like properties) . To clear this up the direction of matter in the system needs clarification.

  6. Robin Carubia | May 15, 2020 at 6:23 am | Reply

    Wow. Questions by nature are never dumb. Providing speculation rather than raw data, and mixing it up like cake batter really does a disservice to the inventors of these telescopes. What the lay person really wants to know is the clearest picture of reality.

  7. Well first of all heat that is still lingering in that gas sustains itself in the very same manner stars, neutron stars, black holes, quasars, and the countless other phenomena that happens in the vacuum of space. The bridge is the vapor trail between two extremely large and hot clusters of densely packed hot stars. Also keep in mind that the vacuum of space is actually a “substance”. Space isn’t empty “space”…..the bridge is being supported by the phenomenon spacetime because a vapor trail of gas that large is guaranteed to be extremely heavy as well…..holding on to its heat for probably millions of years to come.

  8. Shoo fly dont bother me | May 15, 2020 at 3:21 pm | Reply

    You wont get a reply, because their response was one of “a scientist said this and you are not, therefore the article is correct and you are an idiot”. This of course neglects the fact that the article was written by a science writer and not necessarily a scientist. As well as the fact that scientist are wrong all the time. People dont understand that science is a process of understanding not a finished, uneditable doctrine of the absolute truth. The confusion of these two very different perspectives is at the heart of a lot of the misunderstandings of many close minded people today (some of them “scientist”)….read, read, read and think. You too can understand and think critically.

  9. What is the use of these information? Does it help the common man in any way?

  10. Gadfly, you comment seems like you didn’t read this short summary article or the linked longer article. There *are* some hypotheses being put forward, but based on a lot of data from chandra and other sources. Your comment seems more like a pot shot about science being unscientific, based on nothing more than a lack of nuanced understanding. We have enough people saying science doesn’t matter, so in this case id like to put a line in the sand here and say stop. (And now others are piling on as well as I write.)
    How does gas stay hot in space? Stand next to the sun and think about it.
    How do structures in space keep their form? (I’ll observe something over a million years and get back to you).
    It seems like you didn’t think about the massive temperatures and timescales being considered here.
    Growing our understanding of the universe ultimately supports all humans…should we talk about all the pure science which has resulted in massive improvements in quality of life for all people? (Use your computer or cell phone much?) Please think about why you are on this site making less than thoughtful complaints and consider delving into the study of space further. The wonders of space may delight and thrill you as you open your mind to them; and as we look at the history of science’s contributions to mankind’s success, we should all stand in awe.
    Have a great day!! 🙂

    • Well said chris, i would like to offer a couple fresh perspective’s for people to consider; please keep in mind these are just my perception of how the universe works ok.
      Now having said that i say this, if anyone truly wants to comprehend the fundamentals of the universe i would suggest starting at the very core of what all things are; (light) thats right all things are made of photons at a sub atomic level.
      And light simply put is waves of sound hince the saying (wave length) and for a wave length of light to exist it must contain polarity thats where nodes and anti nodes come in to play as well as hertz (see ohms law) it is also that frequency and vibrational resonance of said wavelength that creates gravity see (einstein’s theory of special relativity) and since sound literally is responsible for the volume of an atom with out effecting its mass; well thats why light bends around stars; and as far as a black hole goes, black holes are anything other than black it is in fact that the frequency of a star increases untell it found one of those node and in that moment all vibrational resonance went still and so the gravitational field of the star collapsed and the star transitioned between fields of light (like a lung taking a breath) and is now feeding untell the time where it can be reborn as another perverbial star evolved in its next phase of development.
      There is no such thing as darkness there is only light that has reversed polarity.
      Food for thought about all of this for all of you, do you know why things are the color that the are? Its because they reflect that color and fail to absorb it so grass is not green because it reflects green and you know its not green because that is the only color it cant be if you see it as green! Here is another brain bender for you what color eyes do you have cuz that meens you dont see that color at all if you have blue eyes you dont see blue; green eyes dont see green and so forth, instead it is the common denominator defined by science that does not expand the mind but infact hinders it by applying a limiting belief system got it good 🙂 expand your mind people and stop attacking each other.

  11. I think it’s funny that we look so far away to somewhere we will never see never actually know what’s there and try to determine exactly what is taking place we need to look inward and fix something here on earth 18 billion light years away unless teleportation is somehow real I think we’re a little far from there

  12. So in your sense of what color things actually are you could say an argument could be made that the sky infact isn’t blue? Lol

  13. I want each and every one of y’all to give me a list of your qualifications. Did you graduate high school? Have you attended any college? What comic books are you reading right now?

  14. Gogo i like the way you look at it. And you are absolutely right all anyone really needs to do is look with in. But im not shure people truely are confident in how to so.
    I would like to share another perspective with you guys and again this is just my perception of my own reasonable comprehension of what makes since to me so it is absolutely open for debate and interpretation.
    In meditation is when and how we go with in, and we must remove ourselves from our own proclivities and beliefs and view them from a neutral perspective and free from judgement, wants, desires, fear, dought, and disbelief. It is only then that we can revisit every single memory that we have; and address the negativity and limitations we have placed on our own mind, in the form of the beliefs that have been given to us since birth from friends family and foe. Here is an example if some one told you at one point in time or another in life (you have to work hard to have anything in life) and you absorbed that as a belief then what you have done is tell your subconscious that you are not worthy of having anything in life unless you work hard as defined by your own ego, and if your self image is not perfect then you will never have anything in life and your ego will always blame everything else; but its self.
    The material world and the spiritual world, AKA your conciousness and your subconscious work in opposition to each other, it is what defines the very concept of duality. And here is how, if you say i want; what you are telling your subconscious is that (you dont have)
    What ever it is that you want so you subconscious makes shure that it is not in your reality; the more you chase desires the more they are running away think about it you cant chase something that is coming to you can you. Everything is energy light and magnetism EVERYTHING even your thoughts that you put out into the world have a resonant self expression (evil begets evil) right? So in short if you put out; hate, anger, distrust, judgement and so on that is what you attract back to you. But if you understand that your subconscious in fact creates this very reality for you so you can experience the things you do to grow as a body mind spirit and soul then you will understand that what you see in the world is only a reflection of your self, even the things people say to you you are saying to your self and you are every single person in the world they are just simply the lives you have lived past present and future, then it becomes very easy to redefine every negative experience you have ever had because it was in fact you that was doing it to you lol pretty cool huh.
    And charles i am a high school honors grad and was going to a ivy league university but i had to stop because it was getting in the way of my education so to speak and i began to work on all parts of my self, i am being taught be the greatest masters who have ever lived, and there teachings are ageless and limitless.

    Anyone who is interested in learning more of what i am talking about email me and i will be more than happy to elaborate further. [email protected]

  15. Dark matter is a supersolid that fills empty space and is displaced by ordinary matter. The supersolid dark matter displaced by the Earth, pushing back and exerting pressure toward the Earth, causes gravity. The supersolid dark matter displaced by a galaxy, pushing back and exerting pressure toward the galaxy, causes the stars in the outer arms to orbit the galactic center at the rate in which they do.

  16. David E Sywalski | May 18, 2020 at 9:18 am | Reply

    You know, there is a published paper. You should go find it and read it.

  17. You guys sound like old hens in a chicken coop.
    I liked the “I can count to potato” comment. It’s about the only thing worth reading of all 19 replies.
    I heard my neighbor count to two, twice. He didn’t want to put his phone down to take care of his spawn.
    I don’t know if he can count higher. After counting to two, twice, he gave up and let the spawn be. At 5 yrs old, he already doesn’t take his father seriously.
    Ummm, can someone put all the facts and figures in the article in MPH form? I know what a light year is, I just need to see it in MPH’s.
    Ding, ding! Back to your corners.

  18. jason heidelmaier | June 14, 2020 at 12:37 am | Reply

    this is god iam. ian is the lord jesus christ. now king. stop transmiting to fake jesus in little dick land. he is an intelligence guy. iam in ca in glendora, ca. only to me return all 6/13 and 6/9/20202 until then. i had this waiting yesterday: who is not obeying law?

    sin and demons: lake of fire. sufferred the pain of it
    3 times glory finished. extra i multiplied by 50×50 bingo equagtion sober
    suffering and pain 3000 miles 12 days and 05 years again! no more GOD DAMN it!!Q
    4 new universes all the quantum and human details untoil RR

    I am God. LORD is the ME. Do what I say or law is finished and Jesus is dead.
    Got the tablertnacle and they destroyed it. tr. chicago negtrw
    now!

    all lined up in person order for thrown ready to go. how much more failure? disappointment??

    Jason Heidenmauer Jesherun Heidelmaietr.

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