An international team of researchers has discovered one of the most extreme instances of magnification by gravitational lensing
Extremely distant galaxies are usually too faint to be seen, even by the largest telescopes. But nature has a solution: gravitational lensing, predicted by Albert Einstein and observed many times by astronomers. Now, an international team of astronomers, led by Harald Ebeling of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, has discovered one of the most extreme instances of magnification by gravitational lensing.
The yellow dotted line traces the boundaries of the galaxy's gravitationally lensed image. The inset on the upper left shows what eMACSJ1341-QG-1 would look like if we observed it directly, without the cluster lens. The dramatic amplification and distortion caused by the intervening, massive galaxy cluster (of which only a few galaxies are seen in this zoomed-in view) is apparent.
Credit: Harald Ebelling, University of Hawaii, Institute for Astronomy.
Using the Hubble Space Telescope to survey a sample of huge clusters of galaxies, the team found a distant galaxy, eMACSJ1341-QG-1, that is magnified 30 times thanks to the distortion of space-time created by the massive galaxy cluster dubbed eMACSJ1341.9-2441.
The underlying physical effect of gravitational lensing was first confirmed during the solar eclipse of 1919, and can dramatically magnify images of distant celestial sources if a sufficiently massive object lies between the background source and observers.
Galaxy clusters, enormous concentrations of dark matter and hot gas surrounding hundreds or thousands of individual galaxies, all bound by the force of gravity, are valued by astronomers as powerful "gravitational lenses." By magnifying the galaxies situated behind them, massive clusters act as natural telescopes that allow scientists to study faint and distant sources that would otherwise be beyond the reach of even the most powerful man-made telescopes.
"The very high magnification of this image provides us with a rare opportunity to investigate the stellar populations of this distant object and, ultimately, to reconstruct its undistorted shape and properties," said team member Johan Richard of the University of Lyon, who performed the lensing calculations.
Although similarly extreme magnifications have been observed before, the discovery sets a record for the magnification of a rare "quiescent" background galaxy--one that, unlike our Milky Way, does not form new stars in giant clouds of cool gas.
Explained UH team leader Ebeling, "We specialize in finding extremely massive clusters that act as natural telescopes and have already discovered many exciting cases of gravitational lensing. This discovery stands out, though, as the huge magnification provided by eMACSJ1341 allows us to study in detail a very rare type of galaxy."
Details of the discovery are published in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Roy Gal | EurekAlert!
New material for splitting water
19.06.2018 | American Institute of Physics
Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing
19.06.2018 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
19.06.2018 | Life Sciences
19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy