einstein rings

Hubble Sees A Smiling Lens: In the center of this image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, is the galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 and it seems to be smiling.

You can make out its two orange eyes and white button nose. In the case of this happy face, the two eyes are very bright galaxies and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing.

Galaxy clusters are the most massive structures in the Universe and exert such a powerful gravitational pull that they warp the spacetime around them and act as cosmic lenses which can magnify, distort and bend the light behind them. This phenomenon, crucial to many of Hubbles discoveries, can be explained by Einsteins theory of general relativity.

In this special case of gravitational lensing, a ring known as an Einstein Ring is produced from this bending of light, a consequence of the exact and symmetrical alignment of the source, lens and observer and resulting in the ring-like structure we see here.

Hubble has provided astronomers with the tools to probe these massive galaxies and model their lensing effects, allowing us to peer further into the early Universe than ever before. This object was studied by Hubbles Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 as part of a survey of strong lenses.

A version of this image was entered into the Hubbles Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Judy Schmidt.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA
Caption: ESA

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Stunning ‘Einstein Ring’ Seen In Photo Of Faraway Galaxy

A brilliant “ring of fire” has been spotted in deep space, giving astronomers a rare glimpse of a galaxy 12 billion light-years away.The near-perfect “Einstein ring” was captured at a super-high resolution of 23 milliarcseconds by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), a ground telescope in the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. Click here for more images.

FLY-BY OF A SCHWARZSCHILD BLACK HOLE
What you’re seeing is a sequence of “Einstein Rings" 

Einstein Ring is a term from observational astronomy. It’s an artifact of the gravitational lensing of light (from a star or galaxy) by a massively massive astronomical object (like a black hole or another galaxy).

In order for an Einstein Ring to appear, all three—the light source, the massive lens, and the observer—must all be aligned. In other words, it occurs when the object that you’re seeing as an Einstein ring is directly behind the object that is the gravitational lens.

Gravitational lensing is predicted by Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Instead of light from a source traveling in a straight line (in three dimensions), it is bent by the presence of a massive body, which distorts spacetime.

The animation above is

a simulation depicting a zoom-in on a Schwarzschild black hole in front of the Milky Way.

  • The first Einstein ring corresponds to the most distorted region of the picture and is clearly depicted by the galactic disc.
  • The zoom then reveals a series of 4 extra rings, increasingly thinner and closer to the black hole shadow. They are easily seen through the multiple images of the galactic disk.
The odd-numbered rings correspond to [images of objects] which are behind the black hole (from the observer’s point of view);  they correspond here to the bright yellow region of the galactic disc (close to the galactic center).

The even-numbered rings correspond to images of objects which are behind the observer.  These objects appear bluer since the corresponding part of the galactic disc is thinner and hence dimmer.  [WP]

SOURCE:  Einstein ring - Wikipedia).
The animation was created by Wikipedia contributor Urbane Legend.

A compilation of my favourite quotes... for your inspiration

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Louis Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Da Vinci, and Albert Einstein.” - H. Jackson Brown

“My mother said to me, if you are a soldier you will become a general,
if you are a monk you will become the Pope. Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso.” - Pablo Picasso

“Imagination is more important than Knowledge” - Albert Einstein

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves” - William Shakespeare

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more” - Albus Dumbledore/J.K. Rowling

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” - Albus Dumbledore/J.k Rowling

“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take.“ - Gandalf the White, RotK

"Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life” - Confucious

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” - Albert Einstein 

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream” - C.S. Lewis

“If we wait until we are ready we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives” - Lemony Snicket

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Einstein Ring of Fire

What could be mistaken for a solar eclipse or perhaps the Eye of Sauron is a distant galaxy’s light bending around another massive galaxy that sits between it and Earth. The effect is called an Einstein ring, named after the renowned physicist who predicted the phenomenon called gravitational lensing that causes it. 

The ring we see in the top image was created by a galaxy called SDP.81 giving off light 12 billion light-years away and a closer one, which sits 4 billion light-years from Earth and warps space-time to create the light-bending lens. This was captured at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile last October. Researchers note that the resolution they attained from ALMA is unprecedented, and compared it to taking a picture of the rim of a basketball hoop sitting at the top of the Eiffel Tower from the Empire State Building observation deck. 

While we can’t get enough gravitational lensing images, this one in particular caught our eye because of the helpful animation, above, created by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory that shows what’s going on to make the ring. Learn more and see what the ring looks like with the intervening lensing galaxy visible below.

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The Cosmic Horseshoe

An interesting galaxy has been circled in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. The galaxy — one of a group of galaxies called Luminous Red Galaxies — has an unusually large mass, containing about ten times the mass of the Milky Way. However, it’s actually the blue horseshoe shape that circumscribes the red galaxy that is the real prize in this image.

This blue horseshoe is a distant galaxy that has been magnified and warped into a nearly complete ring by the strong gravitational pull of the massive foreground Luminous Red Galaxy. To see such a so-called Einstein Ring required the fortunate alignment of the foreground and background galaxies, making this object’s nickname “the Cosmic Horseshoe” particularly apt.

The Cosmic Horseshoe is one of the best examples of an Einstein Ring. It also gives us a tantalising view of the early Universe: the blue galaxy’s redshift — a measure of how the wavelength of its light has been stretched by the expansion of the cosmos — is approximately 2.4. This means we see it as it was about 3 billion years after the Big Bang. The Universe is now 13.7 billion years old.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Happy Halloween from space! 

You can make out its two orange eyes and white button nose. In the case of this “happy face”, the two eyes are very bright galaxies and the misleading smile lines are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing.

In this special case of gravitational lensing, a ring — known as an Einstein Ring — is produced from this bending of light, a consequence of the exact and symmetrical alignment of the source, lens and observer and resulting in the ring-like structure we see here.

PC: NASA

A new Einstein Ring: Distant galaxy lensed by gravity

A multinational team of astronomers has found an Einstein Ring, a rare image of a distant galaxy lensed by gravity. The scientists, from Spain, Italy and the USA, report their discovery in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

In his seminal general theory of relativity published a century ago, Albert Einstein predicted that gravity would distort the fabric of spacetime, and that light would follow curved paths as a result. Astronomers first observed this effect in 1919, by measuring the position of stars near the Sun during the 1919 total solar eclipse, and noting a slight shift resulting from the gravitational field of our nearest star. On a larger scale, light from distant galaxies is bent by black holes and massive galaxies that lie between them and Earth. The intervening objects act as lenses, creating arcs and ‘Einstein rings’ of light.

These rings are still comparatively rare and usually appear as small features in the sky. This makes them hard to see clearly, and most are observed with radio telescopes, or with the Hubble Space Telescope. Their rarity derives from the huge distances involved, and the low probability of our Galaxy, the lens galaxy and the distant galaxy all being almost exactly in line.

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