Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Einstein Ring in Distant Universe

01.07.2005


Astronomers Using the VLT Discover Bright Cosmic Mirage Far Away



Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, Rémi Cabanac and his European colleagues have discovered an amazing cosmic mirage, known to scientists as an Einstein Ring. This cosmic mirage, dubbed FOR J0332-3557, is seen towards the southern constellation Fornax (the Furnace), and is remarkable on at least two counts. First, it is a bright, almost complete Einstein ring. Second, it is the farthest ever found.

"There are only a very few optical rings or arcs known, and even less so in which the lens and the source are at large distance, i.e. more than about 7,000 million light-years away (or half the present age of the Universe)", says Rémi Cabanac, former ESO Fellow and now working at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. "Moreover, very few are nearly complete", he adds.


But in the case of this newly found cosmic ring, the images show it to extend to almost 3/4 of a circle. The lensing galaxy is located at a distance of about 8,000 million light-years from us, while the source galaxy whose light is distorted, is much farther away, at 12,000 million light-years. Thus, we see this galaxy as it was when the universe was only 12% of its present age. The lens magnifies the source almost 13 times.

The observations reveal the galaxy acting as a lens to be a rather quiet galaxy, 40,000 light-years wide, with an old stellar population. The far away lensed galaxy, however, is extremely active, having recently experienced bursts of star formation. It is a compact galaxy, 7,000 light-years across.

"Because the gravitational pull of matter bends the path of light rays, astronomical objects - stars, galaxies and galaxy clusters - can act like lenses, which magnify and severely distort the images of galaxies behind them, producing weird pictures as in a hall of mirrors", explains Chris Lidman (ESO), co-discover of the new cosmic mirage.

In the most extreme case, where the foreground lensing galaxy and the background galaxy are perfectly lined up, the image of the background galaxy is stretched into a ring. Such an image is known as an Einstein ring, because the formula for the bending of light, first described in the early twentieth century by Chwolson and Link, uses Albert Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.

Gravitational lensing provides a very useful tool with which to study the Universe. As "weighing scales", it provides a measure of the mass within the lensing body, and as a "magnifying glass", it allows us to see details in objects which would otherwise be beyond the reach of current telescopes.

From the image, co-worker David Valls-Gabaud (CFHT), using state-of-the-art modelling algorithms, could deduce the mass of the galaxy acting as a lens - it is almost one million million suns.

Henri Boffin | alfa
Further information:
http://www.eso.org/outreach/press-rel/pr-2005/phot-20-05.html
http://www.eso.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space
29.05.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier
29.05.2017 | University of Strathclyde

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>