Hubble spies galaxies far, far away

Abell 370
A Hubble Space Telescope view shows the Abell 370 galaxy cluster. (NASA / ESA / HST Frontier Fields)

Choose your movie meme: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” or “Star Wars” for May the Fourth. Either way, the Hubble Space Telescope’s newly released picture of the Abell 370 galaxy cluster is just the ticket.

This composite view from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys shows hundreds of galaxies in the cluster, which is 6 billion light-years away in the constellation Cetus.

The view is remarkable not only because the galaxies are so dense, but also because their mass serves as a gravitational lens, focusing the light from even more distant galaxies into luminous arcs of blue light.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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