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FREE image of History of Chandra X-Ray Observatory

This most distant x-ray cluster of galaxies yet has been found by astronomers using Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO). Approximately 10 billion light-years from Earth, the cluster 3C294 is 40 percent farther than the next most distant x-ray galaxy cluster. The existence of such a faraway cluster is important for understanding how the universe evolved. CXO's image reveals an hourglass-shaped region of x-ray emissions centered on the previously known central radio source (seen in this image as the blue central object) that extends outward for 60,000 light- years. The vast clouds of hot gas that surround such galaxies in clusters are thought to be heated by collapse toward the center of the cluster. Until CXO, x-ray telescopes have not had the needed sensitivity to identify such distant clusters of galaxies. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. The intensity of the x-rays in this CXO image of 3C294 is shown as red for low energy x-rays, green for intermediate, and blue for the most energetic x-rays. (Photo credit: NASA/loA/A. Fabian et al)

This most distant x-ray cluster of galaxies yet has been found by astronomers using Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO). Approximately 10 billion light-years from Earth, the cluster 3C294 is 40 percent farther than the next most distant x-ray galaxy cluster. The existence of such a faraway cluster is important for understanding how the universe evolved. CXO's image reveals an hourglass-shaped region of x-ray emissions centered on the previously known central radio source (seen in this image as the blue central object) that extends outward for 60,000 light- years. The vast clouds of hot gas that surround such galaxies in clusters are thought to be heated by collapse toward the center of the cluster. Until CXO, x-ray telescopes have not had the needed sensitivity to identify such distant clusters of galaxies. Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. The intensity of the x-rays in this CXO image of 3C294 is shown as red for low energy x-rays, green for intermediate, and blue for the most energetic x-rays. (Photo credit: NASA/loA/A. Fabian et al)

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