The NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope has peered across six billion light years of space to resolve extremely faint features of the galaxy cluster Abell 370 that have not been seen before. Imaged here in stunning detail, Abell 370 is part of the Frontier Fields programme which uses massive galaxy clusters to study the mysteries of dark matter and the very early Universe.
Six billion light-years away in the constellation Cetus (the Sea Monster), Abell 370 is made up of hundreds of galaxies . Already in the mid-1980s higher-resolution images of the cluster showed that the giant luminous arc in the lower left of the image was not a curious structure within the cluster, but rather an astrophysical phenomenon: the gravitationally lensed image of a galaxy twice as far away as the cluster itself. Hubble helped show that this arc is composed of two distorted images of an ordinary spiral galaxy that just happens to lie behind the cluster.
Abell 370’s enormous gravitational influence warps the shape of spacetime around it, causing the light of background galaxies to spread out along multiple paths and appear both distorted and magnified. The effect can be seen as a series of streaks and arcs curving around the centre of the image. Massive galaxy clusters can therefore act like natural telescopes, giving astronomers a close-up view of the very distant galaxies behind the cluster — a glimpse of the Universe in its infancy, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.
This image of Abell 370 was captured as part of the Frontier Fields programme, which used a whopping 630 hours of Hubble observing time, over 560 orbits of the Earth. Six clusters of galaxies were imaged in exquisite detail, including Abell 370 which was the very last one to be finished. An earlier image of this object — using less observation time and therefore not recording such faint detail — was published in 2009.
During the cluster observations, Hubble also looked at six “parallel fields”, regions near the galaxy clusters which were imaged with the same exposure times as the clusters themselves. Each cluster and parallel field were imaged in infrared light by the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), and in visible light by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).
The Frontier Fields programme produced the deepest observations ever made of galaxy clusters and the magnified galaxies behind them. These observations are helping astronomers understand how stars and galaxies emerged out of the dark ages of the Universe, when space was dark, opaque, and filled with hydrogen.
Studying massive galaxy clusters like Abell 370 also helps with measuring the distribution of normal matter and dark matter within such clusters [heic1506]. By studying its lensing properties, astronomers have determined that Abell 370 contains two large, separate clumps of dark matter, contributing to the evidence that this massive galaxy cluster is actually the result of two smaller clusters merging together.
Now that the observations for the Frontier Fields programme are complete, astronomers can use the full dataset to explore the clusters, their gravitational lensing effects and the magnified galaxies from the early Universe in full detail.
 Galaxy clusters are the most massive structures in the Universe that are held together by gravity, generally thought to have formed when smaller groups of galaxies smashed into each other in ever-bigger cosmic collisions. Such clusters can contain up to 1000 galaxies, along with hot intergalactic gas that often shines brightly at X-ray wavelengths, all bound together primarily by the gravity of dark matter.
TOP IMAGE….With the final observation of the distant galaxy cluster Abell 370 — some five billion light-years away — the Frontier Fields program came to an end. Abell 370 is one of the very first galaxy clusters in which astronomers observed the phenomenon of gravitational lensing, the warping of spacetime by the cluster’s gravitational field that distorts the light from galaxies lying far behind it. This manifests as arcs and streaks in the picture, which are the stretched images of background galaxies. Credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble, HST Frontier Fields
CENTRE IMAGE….While one eye of Hubble was observing its main target, the massive galaxy cluster Abell 370, the second eye — another instrument — was looking at a part of the sky right next to the cluster. Although not as spectacular as the light-bending clusters, these parallel fields are as deep as the main images and can even compete with the famous Hubble Deep Field as regards depth. They are therefore a valuable tool for studying the evolution of galaxies from the early epochs of the Universe until today. Credit: NASA, ESA/Hubble, HST Frontier Fields
LOWER IMAGE….This image is a colour composite made from exposures from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2). The field of view is approximately 2.2 x 2.2 degrees. Credit: NASA, ESA and Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin.
BOTTOM IMAGE….This image of Abell 370 was released in 2009. Compared to the new image, which contains more observation time, less structures are visible and faint objects have disappeared — the new image has increased the depth of the image dramatically, clearly showing the benefit of additional observation time. A direct comparison between both images can be seen here. Credit: ESA/Hubble
Pairing: Iwaizumi/Oikawa Theme: modern!au: the interview
“Oikawa-san, you’ve led the team to yet another victory! How does it feel?”
Scoffing, Iwaizumi finished his beer and crushed the empty can, tossing it into the trashcan halfway across the room without even looking. He’d come home after a long day of work to the television still on after clearly telling his roommate to turn it off before leaving.
Dumbass can’t do anything right…
He was going to change the channel, but the dumbass roommate also put the remote somewhere that wasn’t its rightful place. Too tired to look for it, Iwaizumi had opted to just get a beer and microwave some of last night’s leftovers, deciding working out could wait until tomorrow morning. He’d spent the day running after elementary school kids, teaching them that volleyball wasn’t only about spiking.
Iwaizumi loved kids, but today was one of those days where he wished he’d been working with college students. Spiking balls at small kids wasn’t okay. Spiking balls at kids just a few years younger than he was was okay.
“–and it’s really great, you know? Being able to work with amazing players! Isn’t that right, Tetsu-chan?” Iwaizumi watched Oikawa call over his shoulder, Kuroo Tetsurou walking by. From the way Kuroo looked over and started raising his hand, Iwaizumi could tell he was going to flip him off. But remembering the television and nationwide broadcast, he wisely lowered his hand and smiled as he kept walking.
“Now, Oikawa-san, as one of Japan’s most adored volleyball players–”
“You’re too kind!”
“–I’m sure many viewers are wondering… how are things going in your personal life? Anyone who you think about when you play?”
Iwaizumi scoffed because Oikawa Tooru, as he’d known him, was an entirely self-absorbed bastard who wouldn’t give anyone else the time of day unless he needed something.
“Well… of course!”
Iwaizumi choked on his mildly warm pad thai.
“I think about him all the time, you know?” Oikawa continued with a bright smile. “I mean, I’d love it if he were here, but… he couldn’t be. Things between us… aah, well, things aren’t that great right now. But still, every time we win, he’s the one I think of. He makes me want to be better. We almost played together, but he decided not to go professional and, honestly, I still consider him my ace.”
The camera zoomed in, it fucking zoomed in, Iwaizumi seethed, just as Oikawa gave a little lopsided smile, half lidded eyes averted.
“…I really, really wish he could’ve been here. We all have that one person, right? The one person we’re convinced is our soulmate. …I really miss him.”
Bowl clattering onto the table, Iwaizumi grabbed his phone and growled incoherent swears under his breath as he heard it ring after dialing, glaring at the screen. “Fucking…”
“Oikawa here! Can’t answer, probably busy being the best! Leave a message!”
“Oikawa, you fuckin’ dumbass!”Iwaizumi barked. “We had a tiny fight about whose turn it was to eat the leftover pizza!! Don’t talk about me like I’m dead!”
Hanging up, he tossed his phone across the couch. He huffed as he leaned back, arms crossed over his chest and still for a moment before reaching over and redialing with a small grumble.
“Also congrats on winning. Proud of you. Still fuckin’ mad at you though. Sleep on the couch. Bye.”
sabo in a haunted house be like IM FINE. 5 mins after gets jumpscared
why is this the most accurate thing i have ever seen
why can’t i stop laughing
IHSIHSHS HEAR ME OUT the first time he gets a spook he’s so on edge about everything, so when ace taps him on the shoulder to see if he’s ok it FREAKS SABO OUT SO HE DECKS ACE IN THE FACE OUT OF FEAR