MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUT FUR PHYSIK UND ASTROPHYSIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MAX-PLANCK-INSTITUT FUR PHYSIK UND ASTROPHYSIK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
ROSAT X-ray image of the cluster of galaxies Abell 2256. The source of the intense X-rays seen from clusters is thought to be the intensely hot gasses in the area between galaxies. Abell 2256 is approximately 1,000 million light years away, and may possibly consist of two clusters that are very close or even colliding. Evidence for this comes from the double structure seen here in the very centre of the frame. ROSAT is a German/UK/USA collaborative project, and was launched on 1 June 1990.
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