Seeing quadruple

Esahubble_potw1204a_1024

esahubble_potw1204a January 23rd, 2012

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope picture may trick you into thinking that the galaxy in it — known as UZC J224030.2+032131 — has not one but five different nuclei. In fact, the core of the galaxy is only the faint and diffuse object seen at the centre of the cross-like structure formed by the other four dots, which are images of a distant quasar located in the background of the galaxy. The picture shows a famous cosmic mirage known as the Einstein Cross, and is a direct visual confirmation of the theory of general relativity. It is one of the best examples of the phenomenon of gravitational lensing — the bending of light by gravity as predicted by Einstein in the early 20th century. In this case, the galaxy’s powerful gravity acts as a lens that bends and amplifies the light from the quasar behind it, producing four images of the distant object. The quasar is seen as it was around 11 billion light-years ago, in the direction of the constellation of Pegasus, while the galaxy that works as a lens is some ten times closer. The alignment between the two objects is remarkable (within 0.05 arcseconds), which is in part why such a special type of gravitational lensing is observed. This image is likely the sharpest image of the Einstein Cross ever made, and was produced by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, and has a field of view of 26 by 26 arcseconds.

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw1204a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Baltimore, MD, United States

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
UZC J224030.2+032131
Subject - Distant Universe
Galaxy > Activity > AGN > Quasar
Esahubble_potw1204a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 22h 40m 30.1s
DEC = 3° 21’ 33.2”
Orientation
North is 124.3° CW
Field of View
0.4 x 0.4 arcminutes
Constellation
Pegasus
Esahubble_potw1204a_1280
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ID
potw1204a
Subject Category
D.5.3.2.1  
Subject Name
UZC J224030.2+032131
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release Date
2012-01-23T10:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw1204a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Instrument
Color Assignment
Band
Bandpass
Central Wavelength
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
340.125538955, 3.35923541037
Reference Dimension
498.0, 498.0
Reference Pixel
249.0, 249.0
Scale
-1.37138227992e-05, 1.37138227992e-05
Rotation
-124.26000000000002
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
https://esahubble.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
United States
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw1204a
Metadata Date
2011-10-25T12:02:07+02:00
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.

 

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