A galaxy cluster

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the galaxy cluster MACS J1206. Galaxy clusters like these have enormous mass, and their gravity is powerful enough to visibly bend the path of light, somewhat like a magnifying glass.

These so-called lensing clusters are useful tools for studying very distant objects, because this lens-like behaviour amplifies the light from faraway galaxies in the background.

What is also interesting is that this image is of a very small section of our sky and it is ABSOLUTELY FULL of galaxies. We live in a galaxy called the Milky Way which has 300 billion stars – imagine how many stars there would be in the image above where each dot is an entire galaxy !!!

See more here or here.

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