NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has captured a mind-boggling image of Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744 also known as Pandora’s Cluster. The gravity of the galaxy cluster is so strong that it acts as a lens to magnify images of more distant galaxies which have been formed millions of years ago.
Einstein has explained in his theory of general relativity that gravity can warp the fabric of space and time. A body with a huge mass will have a gravity which can bend the light emitted by stars and galaxies. This is known as gravitational lensing. The more massive the star, greater will be the gravitational lensing effect.
The Pandora cluster has been formed by the pile up of four separate galaxy clusters and the warping of the space and time fabric enables scientists to view galaxies which have came into existence billions of years ago.
The images of Pandora cluster appear as a fuzzy blob on the Spitzer Telescope. However, scientists are more interested in poring over the faint streaks of lights which have been created by the lensing effect of the cluster of distant galaxies. Scientists are using the NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory to study this far off galaxies as a part of the Frontier Fields project
The image of Abell 2744 is the deepest images taken for any cluster of galaxies. The study of these distant galaxies will enable scientists to understand the conditions prevalent at the time of formation of the universe. The giant galaxy was formed in a span of 350 million years. The galaxies in these clusters make up less than five percent of its mass. The gasses in the group which make up 20% of its mass are so hot that it shines only in X-rays. Dark matter makes up 75% of the clusters mass.