The jet is so powerful that it is bending the shape of the gas bridge, which has a mass equivalent to about six trillion Suns. At the collision site, where the jet is pushing the hot gas in the bridge, astronomers found evidence for a shock front, similar to a sonic boom from a supersonic aircraft, which can keep the gas hot and prevent it from cooling to form new stars.
Objects like Abell 2384 are important for astronomers to understand the growth of galaxy clusters.
Computer simulations indicate that, after such a collision, galaxy clusters oscillate like a pendulum and pass through each other several times before merging to form a larger cluster. Based on these simulations, astronomers think that the two clusters in this system will eventually merge.
The study describing this work, led by Viral Parekh of the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory and Rhodes University, South Africa, was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in January.
More information in this Chandra photo release