Gravitational Lensing - stock photo
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Gravitational Lensing

In the center of this image, taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, are two faint galaxies that seem to be smiling. The two "eyes" are the galaxies SDSSCGB 8842.3 and SDSSCGB 8842.4 and the lines that form the "mouth" are actually arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing. Massive structures in the Universe exert such a powerful gravitational pull that they can 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 Hubble's discoveries, can be explained by Einstein's 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.

Science Source / ESA/Hubble & NASA

1824 x 1800 pixels

Print Size @ 300 dpi
6 x 6 inches / 15 x 15 cm

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