Seeing Quintuple

Esahubble_potw2132a_1024

esahubble_potw2132a August 9th, 2021

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, T. Treu Acknowledgment: J. Schmidt

Clustered at the centre of this image are six luminous spots of light, four of them forming a circle around a central pair. Appearances can be deceiving, however, as this formation is not composed of six individual galaxies, but only three: to be precise, a pair of galaxies and one distant quasar. Hubble data also indicates that there is a seventh spot of light in the very center, which is a rare fifth image of the distant quasar. This rare phenomenon is caused by the presence of two galaxies in the foreground that act as a lens. These galaxies were imaged in spectacular detail by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), which was installed on Hubble in 2009 during Hubble Servicing Mission 4, Hubble’s final servicing mission. The WFC3 was intended to operate until 2014, but 12 years after it was installed it continues to provide both top-quality data and fantastic images, such as this one.  The central pair of galaxies in this image are genuinely two separate galaxies. The four bright points circling them, and the fainter one in the very center, are actually five separate images of a single quasar (known as 2M1310-1714), an extremely luminous but distant object. The reason behind this “seeing quintuple” effect is a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing occurs when a celestial object with an enormous amount of mass — such as a pair of galaxies — causes the fabric of space to warp such that the light travelling through that space from a distant object is bent and magnified sufficiently that humans here on Earth can observe multiple magnified images of the far-away source. The quasar in this image actually lies further away from Earth than the pair of galaxies. The light from the quasar has been bent around the galaxy pair because of their enormous mass, giving the incredible appearance that the galaxy pair are surrounded by four quasars  — whereas in reality, a single quasar lies far beyond them! Links Video of Seeing Quintuple

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2132a/

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

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Galaxies Quasar
Esahubble_potw2132a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 13h 10m 20.1s
DEC = -17° 14’ 57.8”
Orientation
North is 14.1° CCW
Field of View
2.1 x 1.2 arcminutes
Constellation
Virgo

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Red Hubble (WFC3) Infrared (H) 1.6 µm
Red Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (Broad band B) 475.0 nm
Green Hubble (WFC3) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Blue Hubble (WFC3) Optical (Broad band B) 475.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Red
Red
Green
Green
Blue
Esahubble_potw2132a_1280
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ID
potw2132a
Subject Category
Subject Name
Galaxies, Quasar
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, T. Treu Acknowledgment: J. Schmidt
Release Date
2021-08-09T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2132a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3, WFC3
Color Assignment
Red, Red, Green, Green, Blue
Band
Infrared, Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
H, I, Broad band B, I, Broad band B
Central Wavelength
1600, 814, 475, 814, 475
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
197.58355128758183, -17.249401698588077
Reference Dimension
3248.0, 1816.0
Reference Pixel
1624.0, 908.0
Scale
-1.1018537267287991e-05, 1.1018537267287991e-05
Rotation
14.060000000000073
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
potw2132a
Metadata Date
2021-06-14T16:44:19+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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