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The Coma cluster

The Coma cluster

Date: 15 September 2010
Satellite: Planck
Copyright: Planck image: ESA/ LFI & HFI Consortia; ROSAT image: Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik; DSS image: NASA, ESA, and the Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)

These images of the Coma cluster (also known as Abell 1656), a very hot and nearby cluster of galaxies, show how it appears through the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich Effect (top left) and X-ray emission (top right).

The top-left panel shows the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich image of the Coma cluster produced by Planck, and the top-right panel shows the same cluster imaged in X-rays by the ROSAT satellite. The colours in both images map the intensity of the measured signals. The X-ray contours are also superimposed on the Planck image as a visual aid.

As a comparison, the images are shown superimposed on a wide-field optical image of the Coma cluster from the Digitised Sky Survey in the two lower panels.

Located at a distance of about 300 million light-years from us, the Coma cluster extends over more than two degrees on the sky, corresponding to over 4 times the angular size of the full Moon. This image of the Coma cluster highlights Planck's ability to observe objects on very large scales, thanks to its all-sky survey strategy.

The region depicted in each image is slightly larger than 2 degrees.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
7-Mar-2021 00:12 UT

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