About the Object

Distance: 8 billion light years
Constellation: Phoenix
Category: Galaxies


Position (RA):1 2 55.36
Position (Dec):-49° 15' 37.41"
Field of view:2.21 x 2.21 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 5.2° right of vertical

Colours & filters

Infrared1.15 μmJames Webb Space Telescope
Infrared1.5 μmJames Webb Space Telescope
Infrared2.0 μmJames Webb Space Telescope
Infrared2.77 μmJames Webb Space Telescope
Infrared3.56 μmJames Webb Space Telescope
Infrared4.44 μmJames Webb Space Telescope

Webb spotlights gravitational arcs in ‘El Gordo’ galaxy cluster (NIRCam image)

A new image of the galaxy cluster known as “El Gordo” is revealing distant and dusty objects never seen before, and providing a bounty of fresh science. The infrared image, taken by the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, displays a variety of unusual, distorted background galaxies that were only hinted at in previous NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope images.

El Gordo is a cluster of hundreds of galaxies that existed when the universe was 6.2 billion years old, making it a “cosmic teenager.” It’s the most massive cluster known to exist at that time. (“El Gordo” is Spanish for the “Fat One.”)

El Gordo acts as a gravitational lens, distorting and magnifying the light from distant background galaxies. Two of the most prominent features in the image include the Thin One, located just below and left of the image center, and the Fishhook, a red swoosh at upper right. Both are lensed background galaxies.

[Image description: A black background is scattered with hundreds of small galaxies of different shapes, ranging in color from white to yellow to red. Some galaxies are distorted, appearing to be stretched out or mirror imaged. Near the center, a particularly long and thin line stretches from ten o’clock to four o’clock. At upper right, a red swoosh extends about three-quarters of the way around a pair of galaxies. A handful of foreground stars display eight diffraction spikes.]


NASA, ESA, CSA, J. Diego (Instituto de Física de Cantabria), B. Frye (University of Arizona), P. Kamieneski (Arizona State University), T. Carleton (Arizona State University), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), A. Pagan (STScI), J. Summers (Arizona State University), J. D’Silva (University of Western Australia), A. Koekemoer (STScI), A. Robotham (University of Western Australia)

About the Image

Id: elgordo1
Type: Observation
Release date: 2 August 2023, 16:00
Size: 4422 x 4421 px

Image Formats

Large JPEG
3.5 MB
Screensize JPEG
228.9 KB



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