Friday, February 3, 2012

HST Spots Bright Lensed Galaxy

Hey Space Placers!

Hubble Space Telescope (HST) found a very bright and distant glaxy thanks to the gravitational lensing of an intervening galaxy cluster. As explained in the news release, "A so-called gravitational lens is produced when space is warped by a massive foreground object, whether it is the Sun, a black hole, or an entire cluster of galaxies. The light from more-distant background objects is distorted, brightened, and magnified as it passes through this gravitationally disturbed region."

The galaxy is the brightest lensed galaxy found to date and it represents a time when the Universe was about 1/3 of its present age. The picture below shows the compnents of the lenses galaxy's image and what the galaxy looks like without the gravitational lensing distortion.


Astronomers will study this galaxy further to learn more about galaxies as they existed so long ago.

Sky Guy in VA

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