The Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect in the Spiderweb protocluster

This animation shows how photons — particles of light — interact with the hot gas in the distant protocluster around the Spiderweb galaxy. 

Photons from the cosmic microwave background — the relic light from the Big Bang — are depicted as yellow-red streaks of light that traverse space in random directions. The galaxies are embedded in a massive cloud of plasma, with free electrons moving fast within it. 

The photons from the cosmic microwave background interact with the electrons in the hot gas, gaining a bit of energy as they do so. As a result, their wavelength or “colour” changes slightly, shown here as blue lines. This is called the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect, and astronomers have used it to study the distribution of the hot gas within the Spiderweb protocluster, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The measured distribution of the hot gas is shown at the end of the animation as a blue cloud overlaid over the background field of galaxies.


ESO/L. Calçada; Di Mascolo et al.; HST: H. Ford

À propos de la vidéo

Date de publication:29 mars 2023 17:00
Communiqués de presse en rapport:eso2304
Durée:36 s
Frame rate:25 fps

À propos de l'objet

Nom:Spiderweb Galaxy
Type:Early Universe : Cosmology : Morphology : Large-Scale Structure
Catégorie:Galaxy Clusters

Ultra HD (info)



Podcast vidéo
6,6 Mio

For Broadcasters