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Hubble Space Telescope Captures Galactic Monster

The unusual galaxy cluster eMACS J1353.7+4329, which is located around eight billion light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici, has been observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble Space Telescope Captures Galactic Monster

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, H. Ebeling

This observation shows a monster in the making. This group of at least two galaxy clusters is combining to become a cosmic monster, a solitary enormous cluster serving as a gravitational lens.

Einstein’s general theory of relativity is demonstrated dramatically through gravitational lensing. A galaxy cluster is an example of a celestial object that is sufficiently big to bend light in a way that looks like a large lens is doing so.

Additionally, gravitational lensing can enlarge faraway objects, making it possible for astronomers to observe objects that would otherwise be too faint and far away to be seen.

Background galaxies can also appear as light streaks in the distorted images they produce. Bright arcs that blend in with the mass of galaxies in eMACS J1353.7+4329 are the first signs of gravitational lensing that could be seen in the image.

The information used to create this image came from a project called Monsters in the Making, which employed two Hubble detectors to observe five unique galaxy clusters over a range of wavelengths.

The Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys on Hubble enabled these multi-wavelength studies. By making these observations, scientists want to set the framework for future research using innovative observatories like the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope on enormous gravitational lenses.


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