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Abell 2667 Cluster of Galaxies

The strong gravitational pull exerted by the galaxy cluster’s collective mass has bent the light of other, more distant galaxies and distorted their shapes—an effect called gravitational lensing. The giant bright banana-shaped arc seen just to the left of the cluster centre corresponds to the magnified and distorted image of a distant galaxy that lies behind the cluster’s core.

At the cluster’s centre another rare feature can be seen: the vivid blue light from millions of stars created in a so-called cooling flow. Some of the hot cluster gas is cooling in a filamentary structure as it falls into the cluster’s core, setting off the birth of lots of bright blue stars outshining their environment. This may be the clearest picture of this phenomenon yet.