This detailed image features Abell 3827, a galaxy cluster that offers a wealth of exciting possibilities for study. Hubble observed it 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 and Wide Field Camera 3 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. Hubble also observed Abell 3827 previously because of the interesting gravitational lens at its core.

Looking at this cluster of hundreds of galaxies, it is amazing to recall that less than 100 years ago, many astronomers thought the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. Although astronomers debated the existence of other galaxies, it took Edwin Hubble’s observations of the Great Andromeda Nebula to confirm that it 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 envisioned. We can only imagine how Edwin Hubble – after whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named – would have felt if he’d seen this spectacular image of Abell 3827.

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Massey

这张详细的图像展示了Abell 3827星系团,该星系团研究提供了量令人兴奋的可能性。哈勃观测它是为了研究暗物质,这是当今宇宙学家面临的最大难题之一。该科学小组使用了哈勃高级巡天相机和广域相机3来完成他们的观测。这两台相机有不同的规格,可以观测电磁波谱的不同部分,所以同时使用这两台相机使天文学家能够收集更完整的信息。哈勃之前也观测过Abell 3827,因为它的核心有一个有趣的引力透镜

看着这个由数百个星系组成的星系团,令人惊讶地回想起不到100年前,许多天文学家认为银河系是宇宙中唯一的星系。虽然天文学家还在争论是否存在其他星系,但通过埃德温·哈勃对大仙女座星云的观测,才证实了它实际上太遥远了,不可能是银河系的一部分。大仙女座星变成了仙女座星系,天文学家认识到我们的宇宙比人类想象的要大得多。我们可以想象,如果埃德温·哈勃(哈勃太空望远镜就是以他的名字命名的)看到这张壮观的Abell 3827的照片,他会作何感想。


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