A Quick Look at the Coma Cluster




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Published on Jun 19, 2019

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

Enclosing the hundreds or thousands of galaxies are enormous amounts of superheated gas that glow in X-ray light.

Understanding how this gas behaves is crucial to learning about these cosmic giants.

A new study with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals insight into the viscosity, or "stickiness," of the hot gas in one cluster.

Researchers found the viscosity of the hot gas in the Coma galaxy cluster was lower than they expected.

In other words, the hot gas in Coma acts more like milk swirling around in coffee than honey.

Scientists think this low viscosity in Coma may have to do with small irregularities in the galaxy cluster's magnetic field.


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