Saturday, February 18, 2012

More on Gravitational Lenses: Hubble's Journey with these Exotic Sphinxes

As mentioned in Part the First of the article set concerning "Gravitational Lenses", Gravitational Lenses: the Mutant Truth of this Cosmic Conundrum, the term gravitational lens was defined by as "a heavy, dense body, as a galaxy, that lies along our line of sight to a more distant object, as a quasar, and whose gravitational field refracts the light of that object, splitting it into multiple images as seen from the earth." After looking at the imaging which the Hubble Space Telescope has produced (images in previous article), it is certain that such thing called a "gravitational lens" is quite a sphinx, or an inscrutable question of something, although the concept of gravitational lenses are now far from inscrutable thanks to the Hubble!

Since it was launched in 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has revolutionized space exploration through its exceptional cameras and imaging: such images which Hubble has seen are gravitational lenses, or "zoom lenses" as also referred to. Earlier this month, on February 2, 2012, the Astrophysics Journal published an article on the brightest magnitude gravitational lens yet photographed by Hubble, a galaxy named RCS2 032727-132623.

"Hubble's view of the distant background galaxy is significantly more detailed than could ever be achieved without the help of the gravitational lens," tells us. This object in the night sky has beautifully metamorphosed into a horseshoe-fashioned semi-circlet, and Hubble was there to record such findings. HubbleSite is definitely correct when it proclaims this objects one of the "most striking" gravitational lenses discovered!

It's reflection on modern astronomy has helped in understanding of gravitational lenses and the distant & young universe, as when we look back far into the universe, we are looking back into time.

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