Credit: NASA/CXC/GSFC/S. Walker, ESA/XMM, ROSAT
A gigantic cold front in the Perseus galaxy cluster has been observed by a trio of X-ray telescopes.
The ancient cold front can be seen at the left of the image, drifting away from the much inner, younger front closer to the centre. Galactic cold fronts are nothing like the cold fronts we experience on Earth – instead they are caused by galaxy clusters colliding into one another. The gravitational pull of a larger cluster tugs a smaller cluster closer, resulting in gas in the core of the cluster being sloshed around like liquid in a glass. This creates a cold front in a spiral pattern moving outwards from the core and these sloshing cold fronts can provide a probe of the intercluster medium.
Source / Image Courtesy