As I was putting together my Best Astronomy Pictures of 2013 page, I was thinking that it had been a while since I had posted a jaw-dropping Hubble shot of galaxies. And then Hubble delivered.
That stunning image shows Abell 2744, a huge cluster of galaxies located a mind-numbing 4 billion light years away. Also known as Pandora’s Cluster, it’s actually four separate clusters of galaxies undergoing a massive collision.
I suggest you grab a higher-resolution version of the image (there’s even a monster 3900 x 4360 pixel version). When you peruse it, take note: not every object you see in it is part of the cluster. Not even close. If you zoom in, you’ll see lots of weird arcs and streaks:
Get this: Those are actually entire galaxies, located far, far…
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