Friday, October 18, 2013

J1000+0221 - Most Distant Gravitational Lens

This picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the most distant gravitational lens yet discovered. The glow at the center of this picture is the central regions of a normal galaxy. By chance it is precisely aligned with a much more remote, young star-forming galaxy. The light from the more distant object is bent around the nearer object by its strong gravitational pull to form a ring of multiple images. The chance of finding such an exact alignment is very small, suggesting that there may be more star-forming galaxies in the early Universe than expected.

Photo credit: NASA/ESA/A. van der Wel

Note: For more information, see Most Distant Gravitational Lens Helps Weigh Galaxies.

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