April 15, 2016

Hubble Frontier Fields view of MACSJ0717.5+3745

galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy cluster MACSJ0717.5+3745. This is one of six being studied by the Hubble Frontier Fields programme, which together have produced the deepest images of gravitational lensing ever made.

Due to the huge mass of the cluster it is bending the light of background objects, acting as a magnifying lens. It is one of the most massive galaxy clusters known, and it is also the largest known gravitational lens. Of all of the galaxy clusters known and measured, MACS J0717 lenses the largest area of the sky.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and the HST Frontier Fields team (STScI)
Explanation from: http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/heic1523b/

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