Description: Abell 2029 is composed of thousands of galaxies enveloped in a gigantic cloud of hot gas and an amount of dark matter equivalent to more than a hundred trillion Suns. Both the gas and the galaxies are confined to the cluster primarily by the gravity of the dark matter. If this galaxy cluster is a representative sample of the universe, the Chandra observation indicates that 70 to 90 percent of the mass of the universe consists of dark matter – mysterious particles left over from the dense early universe that interact with each other and "normal" matter only through gravity.

Creator/Photographer: Chandra X-ray Observatory

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, which was launched and deployed by Space Shuttle Columbia on July 23, 1999, is the most sophisticated X-ray observatory built to date. The mirrors on Chandra are the largest, most precisely shaped and aligned, and smoothest mirrors ever constructed. Chandra is helping scientists better understand the hot, turbulent regions of space and answer fundamental questions about origin, evolution, and destiny of the Universe. The images Chandra makes are twenty-five times sharper than the best previous X-ray telescope. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory controls Chandra science and flight operations from the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Medium: Chandra telescope x-ray

Date: 2003

Persistent URL:

Repository: Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

Gift line: X-ray: NASA/CXC/UCI/A.Lewis et al.

Accession number: abell2029_xray