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OUR BEAUTIFUL UNIVERSE: Making waves in Perseus galaxy cluster

Published on Thursday, 08 June 2017 13:44

OBU-PerseusSimulation of hot gas in the Perseus Cluster. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/S Walker et al.)

Data from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory and The Karl G Jansky Very Large Array has been combined with computer simulations to produce this image of hot gas in the Perseus Cluster. The gas is spiralling out from the centre, in a gravitational disturbance arising from the distant fly-by of another, smaller galaxy cluster. The convex-upward bay (seen in the lower left part of the image) is 200,000 light years across, twice the size of our galaxy. The modelling suggests that this structure resembles a giant Kelvin–Helmholtz wave. These arise when there is a velocity difference across the interface between two fluids, for example when wind blows across water. They are found in clouds and oceans on Earth and in the Sun, but this would be the largest known. These results are published by Walker et al. in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

This image is published in the June 2017 issue of Astronomy & Geophysics.

 

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svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/12587