Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Sky Map
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
CL J1001: Record-breaking Galaxy Cluster Discovered
CL J1001
CL J1001
CL J1001
CL J1001

  • Using Chandra and several other telescopes, astronomers have found the most distant galaxy cluster to date.

  • This cluster, called CL J1001+0220, lies about 11.1 billion light years from Earth.

  • Galaxy clusters are the largest structures in the Universe held together by gravity.

  • Chandra and the other telescopes may have captured this cluster at an important stage never seen before.

This image contains the most distant galaxy cluster, a discovery made using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and several other telescopes. The galaxy cluster, known as CL J1001+0220, is located about 11.1 billion light years from Earth and may have been caught right after birth, a brief, but important stage of cluster evolution never seen before.

The remote galaxy cluster was found in data from the COSMOS survey, a project that observes the same patch of sky in many different kinds of light ranging from radio waves to X-rays. This composite shows CL J1001+0220 (CL J1001, for short) in X-rays from Chandra (purple), infrared data from ESO's UltraVISTA survey (red, green, and blue), and radio waves from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) (green). The diffuse X-ray emission comes from a large amount of hot gas, one of the defining elements of a galaxy cluster, as described in the press release.

In addition to its extraordinary distance, CL J1001 is remarkable because of its high levels of star formation in galaxies near the center of the cluster. Within about 250,000 light years of the center of the cluster (its core), eleven massive galaxies are found and nine of those display high rates of formation. Specifically, stars are forming in the cluster core at a rate equivalent to about 3,400 Suns per year.

The large amount of growth through star formation in the galaxies in CL J1001 distinguishes it from other galaxy clusters found at distances of about 10 billion light years and closer, where little growth is occurring. These results suggest that elliptical galaxies in clusters may form their stars through more violent and shorter bursts of star formation than elliptical galaxies outside clusters.

The latest study shows that CL 1001 galaxy cluster may be undergoing a transformation from a galaxy cluster that is still forming, known as a "protocluster," to a mature one. Astronomers have never found a galaxy cluster at this precise stage. These results may also imply that star formation slows down in large galaxies within clusters after the galaxies have already come together during the development of a galaxy cluster.

A paper describing these results appeared in The Astrophysical Journal on August 30, 2016 and is available online. The authors were Tao Wang (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, or CEA), David Elbaz (CEA), Emanuele Daddi (CEA), Alexis Finoguenov (University of Helsinki), Daizhong Liu (Purple Mountain Observatory, China), Veronica Strazzullo (Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich), Francesco Valentino (CEA), Remco van der Burg (CEA), Anita Zanella (CEA), Laure Ciesla (CEA), Raphael Gobat (Korean Institute for Advanced Study), Amandine Le Brun (CEA), Maurillio Pannella (Ludwig Maximillian University), Mark Sargent (University of Sussex), Xinwen Shu (Anhui Normal University), Qinghua Tan (University of Helsinki), Nico Cappelluti (Yale), and Yanxia Li (University of Hawaii).

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra's science and flight operations.


Fast Facts for CL J1001:
Credit  X-ray: NASA/CXC/Université Paris/T.Wang et al; Infrared: ESO/UltraVISTA; Radio: ESO/NAOJ/NRAO/ALMA
Release Date  August 30, 2016
Scale  Image is 2.17 arcmin across (about 4.36 million light years)
Category  Groups & Clusters of Galaxies, Cosmology/Deep Fields/X-ray Background
Coordinates (J2000)  RA 10h 00m 56.96s | Dec 02° 20´ 09.32"
Constellation  Sextans
Observation Date  7 pointings between 19 Dec 2006 and 07 Apr 2007
Observation Time  66 hours 7 min (2 days 18 hours 7 min)
Obs. ID  7997, 8001, 8002, 8503, 8006, 8496, 8123
Instrument  ACIS
References Wang, T. et al, 2016, ApJ (accepted); arXiv:1604.07404
Color Code  X-ray (Purple), Infrared (Red, Green, Blue), Radio (Green)
Distance Estimate  About 11.1 billion light years (z=2.506)
distance arrow
Visitor Comments (7)

There is no distances in the Universe.

Posted by Fernando Quistián on Saturday, 09.3.16 @ 21:28pm

Proud to have worked on bringing Chandra into being.

Posted by mdj on Friday, 09.2.16 @ 20:22pm

I love the composite and then being able to see the individual components x-ray, radio and IR.

Posted by Dave on Friday, 09.2.16 @ 16:24pm

Thank you for your newsletters plus the interesting photos of the universe. I appreciate all times.

Posted by romano on Wednesday, 08.31.16 @ 22:11pm

Light from 2.5 billion years after Big Bang. Emanating from outer most reaches of known Universe, Virgo... has finally reached us.

Posted by Ga Da on Wednesday, 08.31.16 @ 14:26pm

I Like this telescope.

Posted by Mark Ballington on Wednesday, 08.31.16 @ 12:28pm

One of the better uses of our tax dollars.

Posted by M.A.Taxpayer on Wednesday, 08.31.16 @ 11:20am

Rate This Image

Rating: 3.6/5
(287 votes cast)
Download & Share

More Information
More Images
X-ray Image of CL J1001
Jpg, Tif

More Images
Animation & Video
Tour of CL J1001

More Animations
Related Images
Zwicky 8338
Zwicky 8338
(21 Dec 15)
il Gioiello Cluster

Related Information
Related Podcast
Top Rated Images
3C 58

Timelapses: Crab Nebula and Cassiopeia A

Chandra Releases 3D Instagram Experiences