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 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Interaction of Galaxies > Clusters of Galaxies > Abell 1644

A Giant Stripping Process in the Galaxy Cluster A1644

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Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of T. Reiprich (University of Virginia & Bonn University) and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

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About this Image

Abell 1644, located about 160 Million light years from the center of the Shapley supercluster, is a rather exceptional complex double cluster. The figure on the left shows the X-ray surface brightness distribution (contours) and the intracluster gas temperature distribution (blue = cool = 30 Million degrees and yellow/red = hot = 60 Million degrees) as obtained with data from XMM-Newton. Note the cool trail that the upper subcluster appears to be leaving behind. The figure on the right shows an image of a hydrodynamic simulation of what we think might have happened in A1644: a smaller subcluster has passed by the main subcluster off-axis and a fraction of its gas has been stripped off during this process (darker = cooler temperature). This would make A1644 the cluster exhibiting one of the largest scale stripping processes ever observed.

Investigator(s):  T. Reiprich, C. Sarazin, J. Kempner, E. Tittley

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Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by