Center for Magnetic Self Organization

in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas

Perseus Galaxy Cluster
Size: 65 million light years diameter
Mass: a trillion solar masses
Distance: 250 million light years
Temperature: 58-116 million °C
Flow Speed: 12 million mph away from us
Location: In the constellation Perseus
Image Credit: R. Jay Gabany


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The Perseus Galaxy Cluster contains over 1,000 galaxies and is one of the largest objects anyone will ever see.

The galaxies are surrounded by a hot, low density plasma (known as the intergalactic medium) that can reach temperatures of 100 million°C!

Strangely, it seems that the galaxies are moving too quickly to be held together by the gravitational attraction between them. There must be an invisible mass providing extra gravity, which scientists have nicknamed dark matter.

A National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center,
established in coordination with the Department of Energy.