Comet Galaxy (Hubble)
Click on the Hubble Image for an extended view.
The Hubble image also shows the gravitational lensing effect -- an optical illusion -- caused by the cluster's gravitational tidal forces of the cluster and "ram pressure stripping" by the hot gas.
The strong gravitational pull exerted by the galaxy cluster's collective mass has also bent the light of distant galaxies, distorting their shapes. A giant luminous blue arc corresponds to the distorted image of a galaxy that lies behind the cluster's core.
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ESO's Very Large Telescope and the twin Keck Telescopes were used for optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry, which helped determine the age of the star-forming region.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and Chandra X-Ray Observatory were used jointly to confirm that the activity in the "Comet Galaxy" was due to vigorous star-formation and not a super-massive black hole.
The Hubble image was taken by Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in October 2001 and is a composite of three observations through a blue filter (F450W, 12,000 seconds), a green filter (F606W, 4,000 seconds) and a near-infrared filter (F814W, 4,000 seconds).