Hubble captures “Einstein Ring”


New photos from the Hubble Space Telescope show the stunning “Einstein Ring” billions of light-years away from Earth. This is a phenomenon named after Albert Einstein, who predicted that gravity could bend light.

Round object in the center of Photo released by the European Space Agency Is actually three galaxies displayed as seven, and four separate images of the farthest galaxy form a visible ring around the other galaxies.

The farthest galaxy-a special type of very bright galaxy with a huge black hole in its center known as a quasar-is about 15 billion light-years from Earth.

At such a distance, even the best space telescopes wouldn’t be able to see it, but the image is displayed in five separate locations because its light is curved by two galaxies in front, about 3 billion light-years away. Will be done. It can only be detected by the numerical data of the four-time telescope, but once in the ring and once in the center of the ring.

Image: Einstein Ring (ESA / Hubble / NASA)

Image: Einstein Ring (ESA / Hubble / NASA)

This rare phenomenon is named after physicist Einstein, who predicted in 1911 that gravity affects light in the same way that it affects matter. Einstein proposed this idea in 1915 as a test of his theory of general relativity, and in 1919 British astronomer Arthur Eddington confirmed the effect during a solar eclipse on Principe Island off the west coast of Africa. .. Their light was bent by the gravity of the sun, so it looked partially out of place.

Telescopes in Einstein’s time could not detect other signs of this phenomenon.It was first seen by astronomers at Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona in 1979. Twin Quasar QSO0957 + 561A single quasar that looks like two on Earth because its image is “gravitationally lensed” by a nearby but invisible galaxy.

Since then, astronomers have discovered hundreds of astronomers Einstein ringHowever, the alignment of distant galaxies needs to be perfect and nothing can be seen without a large telescope.The general formation is Einstein Cross, Far galaxies are displayed as four separate images around galaxies near Earth, but near galaxies are too dim to see.

The Einstein ring and the Einstein cross are not just beautiful phenomena. Gravitational lenses allow astronomers to see far into the universe and reveal hidden details of the galaxy that causes the lens.

Image: Einstein Cross (NASA / ESA)

Image: Einstein Cross (NASA / ESA)

“The Einstein ring and the Einstein Cross are probably evidence that there is more matter in the galaxy closer than visible, which probably means dark matter,” said astronomer and director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Ed Krup said. Their distribution “helps to reveal the identity and distribution of dark matter, and the relativistic geometry of the entire universe.”

Such gravitational lenses are also used to spy on some of the furthest dwarf galaxies in the universe. It is one of the oldest galaxies and can tell astronomers more about galaxy formation.Gravitational “microlensing” (change of light from individual stars), on the other hand, has been used to reveal invisible beings in the distance. Exoplanet, Krupp said in an email.