Mosaic of Gravitationally Lensed Quasars

Stsci_2020-04a_1024

stsci_2020-04a January 7th, 2019

Credit: NASA, ESA, HOLiCOW-K.Wong (U. Tokyo/NAOJ)

A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has measured the universe's expansion rate using a technique that is completely independent of any previous method. Knowing the precise value for how fast the universe expands is important for determining the age, size, and fate of the cosmos. Unraveling this mystery has been one of the greatest challenges in astrophysics in recent years. The new study adds evidence to the idea that new theories may be needed to explain what scientists are finding. The researchers' result further strengthens a troubling discrepancy between the expansion rate, called the Hubble constant, calculated from measurements of the local universe and the rate as predicted from background radiation in the early universe, a time before galaxies and stars even existed. This latest value represents the most precise measurement yet using the gravitational lensing method, where the gravity of a foreground galaxy acts like a giant magnifying lens, amplifying and distorting light from background objects. This latest study did not rely on the traditional "cosmic distance ladder" technique to measure accurate distances to galaxies, by using various types of stars as "milepost markers." Instead, the researchers employed the exotic physics of gravitational lensing to calculate the universe's expansion rate. The astronomy team that made the new Hubble constant measurements is dubbed H0LiCOW (H0 Lenses in COSMOGRAIL's Wellspring). COSMOGRAIL is the acronym for Cosmological Monitoring of Gravitational Lenses, a large international project whose goal is monitoring gravitational lenses. "Wellspring" refers to the abundant supply of quasar lensing systems. Rather than relying on the traditional "cosmic distance ladder" technique to measure accurate distances to various types of stars near and far from Earth, the Hubble team used the exotic physics of gravitational lensing to calculate the universe's expansion rate, called the Hubble constant.

Provider: Space Telescope Science Institute

Image Source: https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2020/news-2020-04

Curator: STScI, Baltimore, MD, USA

Image Use Policy: http://hubblesite.org/copyright/

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Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
RXJ1131-1231 B1608+656 HE0435-1223 WFI2033-4723
Subject - Local Universe
Cosmology > Phenomenon > Lensing
Galaxy > Activity > AGN > Quasar

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 11h 31m 51.6s
DEC = -12° 31’ 57.0”
Constellation
Crater

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Hubble (ACS/WFC) Optical (V) 555.0 nm
Orange Hubble (ACS/WFC) Optical (I) 814.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Orange
Stsci_2020-04a_1280
×
ID
2020-04a
Subject Category
C.6.2.1   C.5.3.2.1  
Subject Name
RXJ1131-1231, B1608+656, HE0435-1223, WFI2033-4723
Credits
NASA, ESA, HOLiCOW-K.Wong (U. Tokyo/NAOJ)
Release Date
2019-01-07T00:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://hubblesite.org/contents/news-releases/2020/news-2020-04
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Hubble, Hubble
Instrument
ACS/WFC, ACS/WFC
Color Assignment
Blue, Orange
Band
Optical, Optical
Bandpass
V, I
Central Wavelength
555, 814
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
172.9650000, -12.5325000
Reference Dimension
Reference Pixel
Scale
Rotation
Coordinate System Projection:
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
STScI
URL
http://hubblesite.org
Name
Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach
Email
outreach@stsci.edu
Telephone
410-338-4444
Address
3700 San Martin Drive
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
USA
Rights
http://hubblesite.org/copyright/
Publisher
STScI
Publisher ID
stsci
Resource ID
STSCI-H-p2004a-f-912x956.tif
Metadata Date
2022-01-31T13:22:50-05:00
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.