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March 24, 2011

Suzaku Shows Clearest Picture Yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster

The Suzaku X-ray astronomy satellite, a project of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), recently made X-ray observations that provide scientists with the clearest picture of the size, mass and chemical content of the Perseus Galaxy Cluster. This cluster is located about 250 million light-years away and is the brightest extended X-ray source beyond our own galaxy. Using the data collected researchers were able to measure the density and the temperature of the gas. This allowed them to infer qualities about the gas and the cluster, such as that it is 11.6 million light-years across and that it contains more than 660 trillion times the mass of the sun. Also, by discovering clumping of gas in the galaxy scientists were able to correct previous overestimates of the density and composition.

The article can be found at
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/astro-e2/news/perseus-cluster.html

Posted by emschnei at March 24, 2011 04:48 PM

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