An international team of astronomers has used the International LOFAR Telescope from ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, to study the formation of the galaxy cluster Abell 2256. Abell 2256 is a cluster containing hundreds of galaxies at a distance of 800 million lightyears. ‘The structure we see in the radio images made with LOFAR provides us with information about the origin of this cluster, explains lead author dr. Reinout van Weeren (Leiden University and ASTRON). The study will be published in the scientific journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. The research involved a large team of scientists from 26 different universities and research institutes.

Published by the editorial team, 23 May 2012

LOFAR has made the first images of Abell 2256 in the frequency range of 20 to 60 MHz. What came as a surprise to scientists was that the cluster of galaxies was brighter and more complex than expected. Dr. van Weeren: ‘We think that galaxy clusters form by mergers and collisions of smaller clusters'. Abell 2256 is a prime example of a cluster that is currently undergoing a collision. The radio emission is produced by tiny elementary particles that move nearly at the speed of light. With LOFAR it is possible to study how these particles get accelerated to such speeds. ‘In particular, we will learn how this acceleration takes place in regions measuring more than 10 million light years across', says Dr. Gianfranco Brunetti from IRA-INAF in Bologna, Italy, who together with Prof. Marcus Brüggen from the Jacobs University in Bremen, coordinates the LOFAR work on galaxy clusters.

LOFAR was built by a large international consortium led by the Netherlands and which includes Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Sweden. One of the main goals of LOFAR is to survey the entire northern sky at low radio frequencies, with a sensitivity and resolution about 100 times better than what has been previously done. Scientists believe that this survey will discover more than 100 million objects in the distant Universe. ‘Soon we will start our systematic surveys of the sky that will lead to great discoveries', says Prof. Huub Röttgering from Leiden University and Principal Investigator of the "LOFAR Survey Key Project".

 

 

galaxy cluster Abell 2256 at 60 MHz made with LOFAR.

 

 

End of press release

For more information, contact:

Dr. Reinout van Weeren, astronomer, Leiden University and ASTRON. Tel.: +31 71 527 5864. E-mail: rvweeren@strw.leidenuniv.nl

Prof. Huub Röttgering, astronomer, Leiden University. Tel.: +31 6 41522603. E-mail: rottgering@strw.leidenuniv.nl

Femke Boekhorst, PR & Communication, ASTRON. Tel.: +31 521 595 204. E-mail: boekhorst@astron.nl

Link to the paper: http://home.strw.leidenuniv.nl/~rvweeren/A2256_LBA_arx.pdf

Sources
Related

Latest tweets

Een werkgroep van de Raad van de Astronomie heeft de CO2-uitstoot van het sterrenkundig onderzoek in Nederland geschat over 2019. Het resultaat is gepubliceerd in Nature Astronomy, lees het hele nieuwsbericht op: http://www.astronomie.nl/

A suprising find for an international team of astronomers: galaxy AGC 114905 has no dark matter. Their results are published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, read the full press release here: https://bit.ly/3DwWEeR

Shared sky: Canvases of the Universe opened in October in Leiden's Old Observatory. In this exhibition you can view indigenous astronomy art by Aboriginal Australian and South African artists. You can read all about it in @SKAO's latest Contact magazine: https://issuu.com/ska_telescope/docs/contact_-_issue_09/s/14022771

Are you an astronomy, physics or computer science student and do you want to spend the summer at a world-leading research institute? Apply now for our joint summer research programme with @jivevlbi! https://bit.ly/3EgV1mH

searchtwitter-squarelinkedin-squarebarsyoutube-playinstagramfacebook-officialcrosschevron-right