El Gordo, The Biggest Galaxy Cluster Just Got Bigger

El Gordo, The Biggest Galaxy Cluster Just Got Bigger

El Gordo Galaxy Cluster.jpg

El Gordo (The Fat One) is the largest galaxy cluster known. It weighs in at 3 million billion times the mass of our Sun. It is found 9.7 billion light years away. This means we are seeing it when the Universe was about half its current age. Such a large galaxy cluster at a young age is thought to be a rare event possibly caused by the merger of two galaxy clusters. Now thanks to Hubble it has just got bigger, 43 per cent bigger. Earlier measures of this behemoth’s mass underestimated the true size due to the angle which we see it. Hubble looked at how much the cluster bent the light waves from distant galaxies to come up with the new estimated of its mass.

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Image credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Jee (University of California, Davis)

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