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