El Gordo (galaxy cluster)

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ACT-CL J0102-4915
ACT-CL J0102−4915.jpg
El Gordo consists of two separate galaxy subclusters colliding at several million
kilometres per hour.
Observation data (Epoch J2000.0[1])
Right ascension01h 02m 52.50s[1]
Declination−49° 14′ 58.0″[1]
Other designations
El Gordo,[1] ACT-CL J0102-4915,[2] SPT-CL J0102-4915[2]
See also: Galaxy group, Galaxy cluster, List of galaxy groups and clusters
This video shows the distant merging galaxy cluster ACT-CL J0102−4915.

El Gordo (lit. The Fat One) (ACT-CL J0102-4915 or SPT-CL J0102-4915) is the largest distant galaxy cluster observed at its distance or beyond, as of 2011. As of 2014, it still holds the record for being the largest distant galaxy cluster to have been discovered with a mass of three quadrillion suns.[3][4][5][6] It was found by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Atacama Cosmology Telescope—funded by National Science Foundation, and European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope.[7]

This galaxy cluster, officially named as, 'ACT-CL J0102-4915', has been given a 'nickname' by the researchers as 'El Gordo', which stands for "the Fat One" or "the Big One" in Spanish. It is located more than 7 billion light-years from Earth.[8]

Findings and results on 'El Gordo' were announced at the 219th meeting of American Astronomical Society in Austin, Texas.[9]

El Gordo and ΛCDM[edit]

This interacting cluster presents problems for the conventional Lambda-CDM model of cosmology because it is hard to reconcile ΛCDM's model of galaxy formation with the combination of how early El Gordo is observed in cosmic history, its large mass, and its high collision velocity.[10]


Felipe Menanteau (then of Rutgers University) who led the study stated "this cluster is the most massive, the hottest, and gives off the most X-rays of any known cluster at this distance or beyond."[11]

Findings from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory show that El Gordo is composed of two separate galaxy subclusters, colliding at several million kilometers per hour.[12] These observations (using X-ray data and other characteristics) suggest that El Gordo most probably formed in the same manner as the Bullet Cluster (which is located 4 billion light-years from Earth).[13][14][15][16]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "NAME El Gordo". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg.
  2. ^ a b "SPT-CL J0102-4915". NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database.
  3. ^ Guinness World Records 2014, Page 030.
  4. ^ Boen, Brooke; Dunbar, Brian (16 April 2014). "Monster "El Gordo" Galaxy Cluster is Bigger Than Thought". NASA. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  5. ^ NASA, "El Gordo Galaxy Cluster", 10 January 2012 (accessed 7 July 2012)
  6. ^ Monster NASA "Monster "El Gordo" Galaxy Cluster is Bigger Than Thought"
  7. ^ CNN News 'Fat' galaxy cluster discovered 7 billion light-years away
  8. ^ NASA's Chandra Finds Largest Galaxy Cluster in Early Universe
  9. ^ Choi, Charles (January 10, 2012). "Monster Galaxy Cluster 'El Gordo' Packs Mass of 2 Quadrillion Suns". Space.com. Space.com. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
  10. ^ Asencio, Elena; Banik, Indranil; Kroupa, Pavel (February 2021). "A massive blow for ΛCDM – the high redshift, mass, and collision velocity of the interacting galaxy cluster El Gordo contradicts concordance cosmology". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 500 (4): 5249–5267. arXiv:2012.03950. doi:10.1093/mnras/staa3441. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  11. ^ Felipe Menanteau of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., who led the study
  12. ^ CNN News El Gordo is made up of two separate galaxy subclusters
  13. ^ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120110140423.htm
  14. ^ El Gordo akin to the well-known object called the Bullet Cluster
  15. ^ El Gordo most probably formed just like the Blue Cluster
  16. ^ El Gordo akin to the well-known object called the Bullet Cluster
  17. ^ "A gargantuan collision". www.spacetelescope.org. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Hubble weighs "the fat one"". ESA/Hubble Picture of the Week. Retrieved 10 April 2014.

External links[edit]