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For release: 09-09-04
Photo release #: 04-231

Motions in nearby galaxy cluster reveal presence of hidden superstructure

Photo description: Chandra X-ray Image of Fornax ClusterLarge 2242 x 2438 (300)
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A Chandra X-ray Observatory mosaic of images of the Fornax galaxy cluster reveals that the vast cloud of 10-million-degree Celsius gas surrounding the cluster core has a swept-back cometary shape that extends for more than half-a-million light years. This geometry suggests that the hot gas cloud is moving through a larger, but less dense cloud of gas, creating a ram pressure, or intergalactic headwind.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program. (NASA/CXC/Columbia U./C.Scharf et al.)


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