Hubble Space Telescope got a uniquely close-up look at the brightest ‘magnified’ galaxy yet discovered
Hubble Space Telescope has managed to record some images the brightest galaxy ever discovered, thanks to a phenomenon known as "gravitational lensing".
A gravitational lens occurs when the gravity of an object massive as the Sun, a black hole or an entire galaxy, causing a curvature in space-time, experts say.
Light from distant objects is bent and magnified bright as it passes through that region, "disturbed" by gravity.
NASA said that "this observation provides a unique opportunity to study the physical properties of a galaxy that is so strong, stars when the universe was only a third of its present age."
How did they do? Jane Rigby and his team of astronomers at the Goddard Space Flight Center of NASA, Greenbelt, Maryland, pointed the telescope Hubble to one of the most striking examples of gravitational lensing, light from an arc of about 90 degrees in a set galactic called RCS2 032727-132623.
The view that the Hubble obtained from the distant galaxy is much more detailed than the image that have been achieved without the presence of gravitational lensing.
The presence of this "magnifying lens" shows how galaxies evolved for 10,000 million years.
While the galaxies closest to the Earth are fully mature and approach the end of its history as a nursery of stars, distant galaxies provide testimony to the times of formation of the universe. They are so distant that the light of those cosmic events only reaches the earth so far.
The most distant galaxies fainter shine not only in space but are much smaller.
Background. In 2006 a team of astronomers used the Very Large Telescope (VLT, literally: Very Large Telescope). This is the most advanced optical instrument in the world and is in Chile. The device measured the distance from the arc and calculated that this galaxy appears three times brighter than other galaxies, also seen through lenses, discovered earlier.
In 2011, astronomers used the Hubble to take images and analyze the galaxy with the orbiting telescope.
As is typical in gravitational lensing, the distorted image of the galaxy is repeated several times in the lens assembly shown in front. The task of astronomers is to reconstruct how the galaxy would really without the distortion effect.
The sharp vision of Hubble allowed astronomers to eliminate distortions and reconstruct the galactic image as seen normally.
The reconstruction shows the bright regions where stars form, much more enlightened than any region of young stars in the Milky Way.