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Gravitational lenses in part of the Herschel-ATLAS survey field

Gravitational lenses in part of the Herschel-ATLAS survey field

Date: 03 November 2010
Satellite: Herschel
Depicts: Part of the Herschel-ATLAS survey field
Copyright: ESA/SPIRE/Herschel-ATLAS/SJ Maddox

The main image shows the first area of sky viewed as part of the Herschel-ATLAS survey. It is around 4 degrees across - 8 times the width of the Full Moon - and located in the constellation of Hydra. There are over 6000 galaxies present in this image, some seen as they were billions of years ago, and almost all so far away that they are seen by Herschel as a single point of light. Also visible, as wispy structures draped across the image, are diffuse clouds of dust in our own Galaxy. This image makes up around 1/30th of the total area which will be observed by Herschel-ATLAS, in which astronomers should eventually find around 250 000 galaxies. The five insets, measuring 14x14 arcminutes, show enlarged views of the five distant galaxies whose images are being gravitationally lensed by foreground galaxies (unseen by Herschel). The distant galaxies are not only very bright, but also very red in colour in this image, showing that they are brighter at the longer wavelengths measured by the SPIRE instrument.

This colour-composite image combines SPIRE observations at wavelengths of 250 µm (blue), 350 µm (green) and 500 µm (red). The contrast has been adjusted to enhance the colour differences between sources.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
27-May-2022 23:08 UT

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