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Hubble Looks at a Debris Arc in the Coma Cluster

HST Coma Cluster Treasury Proposal member, Bahram Mobasher (University of California, Riverside) has used the Hubble data of the Coma Cluster to further study a striking feature in the cluster. Ground-based images have shown a giant debris arc, extending 80 Kpc (three times the size of our Milky Way Galaxy). This is the result of violent interactions between galaxies in the dense cluster environment. The gravitational field of larger galaxies strip dust and gas from the smaller, younger objects, a process called "galaxy harassment." This is a clear evidence of the end result of galaxy interaction, a process responsible for the evolution of galaxies in clusters. Here we see that much of the debris arc remains in the Hubble image, however, portions of the right-most edge of the arc have actually been resolved into galaxies.

 

 

Links to Related Coma Cluster Websites:

Hubblesite Release of Coma Cluster
Hubble ESA Release of Coma Cluster
Stardate Radio Program - May 6, 2008
Coma Cluster Project at Astro-WISE
Coma Cluster Project at
Liverpool John Moores

Hubble ACS image of debris arc
(Roll mouse over image to see ground-based image)

Heritage Interactive: The Coma Cluster

Pulling back from the Hubble detailed but narrow view of the Coma Cluster, many thousands of galaxies are seen from this ground-based image of Coma taken with the Digitized Sky Survey. Interactively choose different features to be displayed on the image: galaxy names, tiles from the HST treasury proposal, the Hubble Heritage ACS release image of the Coma Cluster.