NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured a perfect shot of “Einstein’s ring.”
The stunning halo is the result of light from a distant galaxy passing through spacetime twisted around another galaxy aligned between a distant light source and Earth. the new James Webb Space Telescope The image, created by a Reddit astronomy enthusiast, is one of the best examples of a triple astronomical phenomenon ever captured.
The ring of light in the new picture comes from afar galaxy SPT-S J041839-4751.8 (or JO418 for short), which is about 12 billion light-years from Earth, making it one of the oldest galaxies in the world. Universe. JO418 is heading directly behind another galaxy – the bright blue light in the ring center – which is so massive that its gravity distorts spacetime around it. When light from JO418 reaches the foreground galaxy, it travels through this twisted spacetime. From a landit looks as if the light has curved around the galaxy, but the electromagnetic waves we’re seeing have actually been moving in a straight line the whole time.
This strange effect is similar to how glass lenses redirect light. Like magnifying lenses, this phenomenon makes light from distant galaxies appear much closer than it actually is. The only difference is that the lens is made of gravitationally distorted spacetime rather than glass. As a result, the researchers called this triple effect a gravitational lensing. Albert Einstein The gravitational lens was first predicted in 1912, when he invented it Theory of relativity.
Reddit user and astronomy graduate student “Spaceguy44” posted a picture of Einstein’s JOS18 episode on August 23 in the r/astronomy subreddit. The anonymous astronomer created the shot using publicly available data collected by the Medium Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope.
“We wouldn’t be able to see J0418 without the gravitational bending properties of light,” Spaceguy44 wrote on Reddit. Without the lens effect, a galaxy would likely look like distant galaxies: a tiny point of light.
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The new image isn’t the first glimpse of JO418, but it’s the most detailed one yet.
In 2020, researchers discovered the distant galaxy after discovering partial gravitational lensing using the Atacama Large Millimeter/ Submillimeter Array (Alma) in Chile; They reported the discovery in a paper published that year in the journal temper nature (Opens in a new tab).
On August 13, Spaceguy44 released an image of JO418 using data collected by Webb’s NIRCam tool, but the initial shot was much lower resolution and the light ring was less visible, according to ScienceAlert (Opens in a new tab).
NASA agency Hubble Space Telescope Take pictures of many other Einstein rings, including One consists of distorted quasar light (Opens in a new tab). However, none of these Einstein rings were as complete or clearly visible as the one in the new image.
Perfectly circular Einstein rings are extremely rare because they require both distant and foreground galaxies to align perfectly with the observer. However, the more advanced sensors on Webb make it easier to detect them in the future.
The recently released image is the latest example of the high definition view of the universe that Webb will make available to both researchers and the general public. space telescope which Released his first picture (Opens in a new tab) In July, I already cut a file Stunning infrared image of the buyer (Opens in a new tab)a Stunning view of the Kartwell wheel galaxy (Opens in a new tab)The The deepest picture of the universe ever taken (Opens in a new tab) And other amazing photos.
Originally published on Live Science.