Abell 370: NASA shares picture

NASA recently shared the picture of a huge cluster of galaxies called Abell 370.

Abell 370

  • It is a galaxy cluster located four billion light years away from the earth. The galaxy cluster is located in the constellation called Cetus.
  • The core of Abell 370 is made of more than hundred galaxies.
  • The Galaxy was catalogued by George Abell and hence the name.
  • Abell 370 has several arcs of light. These arcs are the mirages caused by gravitational lensing of dark and massive objects located between the observer and the distant galaxies.
  • The Abell 370 galaxy cluster was first discovered in 2002 using the lensing effect.

What is Gravitational Lensing?

As light emitted by galaxies (located in far distances) passes by massive objects, the gravitational pull from these objects tend to bend or distort the light. This is called Gravitational lensing.

Cetus Constellation

  • Cetus is a sea monster in Greek Mythology.
  • Cetus constellation is located in the region of the sky where the other constellations such as Pisces, Aquarius and Eridanus are located.
  • There are fourteen stars in Cetus Constellation.
  • Mira was the first star discovered in the Cetus constellation.
  • Tau Ceti of the constellation is the nearest sun-like star.

Nick Name: The Dragon

Abell 370 Galaxy is also nick named as The Dragon by the NASA scientists. This is mainly because in 2009, a study on Abell 370 revealed a group of galaxies in the background of the cluster. The grouping was lensed and distorted by the cluster as a dragon. The head of the dragon was made of spiral galaxy. These galaxies were five billion light years away from each other.

Spiral Galaxy

The spiral galaxy is a class of galaxy that consists of a central concentration of stars called bulge and flat rotating disk containing gas, stars and dust. Pinwheel Galaxy is a spiral galaxy.


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