Two researchers from the CRAQ stand out in the competition “La preuve par l’image”, of the Acfas

20170508aAn unprecedented image of the Perseus galaxy cluster, submitted by two scientists from the Center for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec, Professor Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo and PhD student Marie-Lou Gendron-Marsolais, and scientific communicator Maxime Pivin Lapointe, was selected by the jury of the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) contest, and is now one of the 20 finalists in the 2017 competition.

The image, entitled “Flamboyant Galaxy”, is a mosaic of several images that plunges us into the heart of the massive Perseus galaxy cluster, located at a distance of about 240 million light years from Earth, and shows us in details the effervescence that reigns there.

The gas between the galaxies reaches 60 million degrees Celsius and emits copious amounts of X-ray light. One of the image was captured by NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory (in blue). The giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1275, whose spectacular filaments are imaged in the optical by the Hubble Space Telescope, is located in the center. This galaxy hides an active supermassive black hole propelling powerful jets of particles into the cluster.

Other images also come from two telescopes in New Mexico: the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which has a very wide field of view to map the entire sky, and the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, equipped with new receivers, which made it possible to image the radio emission of these particles (in pink) with an unparalleled level of detail, revealing an array of complex mysterious structures.

This image was instrumental in the discovery of a giant wave running through the Perseus cluster. The research was led by Stephen Walker of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo, and will be published in the June issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (see also this news item).

About the “Preuve par l’image” contest

“La preuve par l’image” competition, launched by Acfas in 2010, is devoted exclusively to images from scientific research carried out in all fields of knowledge. For the second consecutive year, Acfas partnered with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to open the competition to all Canadian researchers.

The 20 finalist images of 2017 were presented to the public on Friday 5 May on the occasion of the “Journées internationales de la culture scientifique – Science & You”.
The images will then be exhibited at the 85th Congress of Acfas at McGill University, May 8-12, at the Eureka! Festival of the Montréal Science Center from June 9 to 11. They can also be admired at the Biodôme until the end of December as part of an exhibition produced jointly with “Espace pour la vie”.

Source and contact:
Faculté des Arts et des sciences UdeM

Professor Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo
Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec
Université de Montréal

Robert Lamontagne
Public outreach
Centre de recherche en astrophysique du Québec
Université de Montréal
Phone : (514) 343-6111 x3195