Research & Science Home ESA Public Web Site Sci-Tech Portal      XMM-Newton Public Web Site XMM-Newton Sci-Tech Portal
Astrophysics Missions Planetary Exploration Missions Solar Terrestrial Science Missions Fundamental Physics Missions Science Faculty

XMM-Newton Image Gallery

 Go to the Gallery Home Page

 XMM-Newton Home > Gallery Home > Interaction of Galaxies > Clusters of Galaxies > Abell 3266

Great comet-like ball of gas in Abell 3266

Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of A. Finoguenov, University of Maryland (UMBC); Max-Planck Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik and ESA. (for details, see Conditions of Use).

The image above can be displayed at full size and may be downloaded by clicking the image above.

About this Image

A comet-like ball of gas (shown in orange) is moving through a cluster of galaxies known as Abell 3266. Using a mosaic of nine XMM-Newton EPIC exposures, an entropy map of the gas was produced. Entropy is a measure of the disorder of the gas. The gas ball is about 3 million light years across (5 billion times the size of our solar system), the largest ever seen, and is moving through the cluster at over 750 km s-1. The head of the comet-like feature is seen in red in the lower right and the tail extends outwards towards the upper left. Gravity from dark matter in the ball holds it together, but the gravity from the surrounding galaxies opposes it and pulls gas off the ball, leaving a comet-like tail trailing behind, almost half the angular size of our moon as seen from Earth.

Investigator(s):  A. Finoguenov, M. J. Henriksen, F. Miniati, U. G. Briel, C. Jones

For More Information

Alternate Resolutions (Help)

This image is available in the following downloadable versions: Higher resolution versions of this image may be available, please contact the XMM-Newton HelpDesk.

Search the Image Gallery

To search the Image Gallery for a particular object, fill in the object name in the box below and click the Submit button.
Object Name Show Results As:  
To search the Image Gallery for other images, fill in any of the fields below and click the Submit button.
Category Sub-Category Instrument Show Results As:
For more search options, please use our Advanced Search form.

XMM-Newton; Europe's X-Ray Observatory
Last update: 09-Oct-2013 by