NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured a perfect picture of the “Einstein ring”.
A striking halo is the result of light from a distant galaxy traveling through curved space-time that surrounds another galaxy aligned between the distant light source and Earth. New The James Webb Space Telescope Created by a Reddit-based astronomy enthusiast, the image is one of the best examples of the trippy astronomical phenomenon ever captured.
The ring of light in the new image comes from a distance galaxy SPT-S J041839-4751.8 (or JO418 for short) is about 12 billion light-years away from Earth, making it one of the oldest galaxies in the world. universe. JO418 is pointed directly behind another galaxy—the bright blue light at the center of the ring—so massive that its gravity is warping space-time around it. This curve goes through space-time as the light from JO418 reaches the foreground galaxy. From Placeit looks like the light is bent around the galaxy, but the electromagnetic waves we see have actually traveled in a straight line the whole time.
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This strange effect is similar to how glass lenses redirect light. Like magnifying glasses, this phenomenon causes light from distant galaxies to appear closer than it actually is. The only difference is that the lens is made from gravity-driven space-time instead of glass. As a result, the researchers called this trippy effect, gravitational lensing. Albert Einstein He predicted in 1912 when he first developed gravitational lenses theory of relativity.
Reddit user and astronomy graduate student “Spaceguy44” posted an image of the JOS18 Einstein ring on August 23. on the r/Astronomy subreddit 23. An anonymous astronomer created this image using open data collected by the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope.
Spaceguy44 wrote on Reddit: “We wouldn’t be able to see J0418 if it weren’t for the slight gravitational bending properties. “Without the lensing effect, the galaxy would probably look like the most distant galaxies: a tiny speck of light.”
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The new image isn’t the first look at JO418, but it’s the most detailed to date.
In 2020, researchers discovered the distant galaxy after detecting partial gravitational lensing with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array.SOUL) in Chile; they reported the finding in a journal article that year Nature (opens in new tab).
On August 13, Spaceguy44 released an image of JO418 using data collected by Webb’s NIRCam instrument, but the original image had a lower resolution and the ring of light was less visible. Science Alert (opens in new tab).
of NASA Hubble Space Telescope He took pictures of several other Einstein rings, including one formed by warped quasar light (opens in new tab). But none of these Einstein rings were as complete or as clear as in the new image.
Perfectly circular Einstein rings are extremely rare because they require both distant and foreground galaxies to be perfectly aligned with the observer. However, more advanced sensors on Webb should make it easier to spot them in the future.
The recently released photo is the latest example of a high-resolution view of space that Webb will make available to both researchers and the general public. With a space telescope published his first pictures (opens in new tab) In July, you already have a snapped A stunning infrared image of Jupiter (opens in new tab)for Amazing view of Cartwheel Galaxy (opens in new tab)the the deepest picture of the universe ever taken (opens in new tab) and other amazing photos.
Originally published on Live Science.
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