Cropped photo of Abell 3322. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, H. Ebeling.

Hubble Captures Majestic Abell 3322

Studying monumental clusters like Abell 3322 isn't just for aesthetics; it's vital in demystifying the complex relationship and evolution of dark and visible matter within these celestial gatherings.


NASA/ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled the splendor of the colossal cluster Abell 3322, shedding light on the intricate dance of dark and luminous matter.

Gazing into the Cosmic Depths of Abell 3322

In this breathtaking snapshot from the Hubble, the galaxy 2MASX J05101744-4519179 claims the spotlight, nestled at the heart of the immense cluster Abell 3322. Emanating a strong X-ray glow, this astral giant extends its allure across the vast cosmic canvas. Studying monumental clusters like Abell 3322 isn’t just for aesthetics; it’s vital in demystifying the complex relationship and evolution of dark and visible matter within these celestial gatherings.


Moreover, clusters of this magnitude serve as gravitational behemoths, acting as “telescopes” that amplify distant entities via gravitational lensing. Identifying such natural lenses paves the way for enhanced future surveys using both the Hubble and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope. For the stargazers among us, Abell 3322 resides in the Pictor constellation, a staggering 2.6 billion light-years away from our blue planet.

Harnessing Hubble’s Dual Power

Crafting this mesmerizing portrayal of Abell 3322 required the combined prowess of two of Hubble’s state-of-the-art instruments: the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). Both instruments, representing the third generation of their kind, grant astronomers a crystalline view of the heavens, aiding diverse scientific explorations.

While WFC3 captures a broad spectrum—from ultraviolet shades to visible light and nearing the infrared—ACS zeroes in predominantly on the realm of visible light. Their complementary functionalities, juxtaposing WFC3’s extensive coverage with ACS’s specialized focus, together craft the vivid tableau that we witness today.


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Written by Ivan Petricevic

I've been writing passionately about ancient civilizations, history, alien life, and various other subjects for more than eight years. You may have seen me appear on Discovery Channel's What On Earth series, History Channel's Ancient Aliens, and Gaia's Ancient Civilizations among others.

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