3C295 CHANDRA Image

Five Billion Year Old, 50 Million Degree Clouds

3C295 (Cl 1409+524) is one of the most distant galaxy clusters observed by X-ray telescopes. The cluster is filled with a vast cloud of fifty million degree gas that radiates strongly in X rays. It has a redshift of 0.461, which means that we see the galaxy cluster as it was 5 billion years ago. 3C295 was first discovered as a bright source of radio waves. The source of the radio emission was found to be a giant elliptical galaxy located in the center of the cluster of galaxies. NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory discovered that this central galaxy is a strong, complex source of X rays. The gas cloud, which is visible only with an X-ray telescope, contains more than a hundred galaxies and enough material to make a thousand more. Roughly two million light years in diameter, the cloud and its cluster of galaxies are among the most massive objects in the universe. For more information, and other astounding Chandra images, see the Chandra public image gallery.

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Each week the HEASARC brings you new, exciting and beautiful images from X-ray and Gamma ray astronomy. Check back each week and be sure to check out the HEAPOW archive!

Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified January 10, 2000