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A giant wave of hot gas, spanning some 200,000 light-years, has been found in the nearby Perseus galaxy cluster by our Chandra X-ray Observatory.

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The wave is about twice the size of our own Milky Way galaxy and thought to have formed billions of years ago. Observations from Chandra, coupled with a computer simulation, shows the gravitational disturbance resulting from the distant flyby of a galaxy cluster about a tenth the mass of the Perseus cluster. The event causes cooler gas at the heart of the Perseus cluster to form a vast expanding spiral, which ultimately forms giant waves lasting hundreds of millions of years at its periphery. Merger events like this are thought to occur as often as every three to four billion years in clusters like Perseus. Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Music: "The Undiscovered" from Killer Tracks
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