The Ariane is a series of rockets developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), with the first rocket being launched in 1979. Ariane 5 launched the James Webb Space Telescope on 25th December 2021 to replace the brilliant, but slightly ageing, Hubble Space Telescope. Its first images are due to be released on 12th July. Until then we have the fantastic images captured by the Hubble Space Telescope over the years.
The wallpaper featuring in Spitalfield’s Ariane room is an image combining visible light exposures of galaxy cluster Abell 2744, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and X-ray data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
The galaxies in this cluster only provide around 5% of the mass. Dark matter makes up around 75%. The blue areas show the location of the invisible dark matter and a map of the mass in the cluster. The cluster bends light from galaxies which can be seen in arc-like distortions in part of this image. The pink area is hot intracluster gas which is visible through its X-ray emissions.
To see more images captured by the Hubble telescope click here.