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 When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald

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: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

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...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

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.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>