It’s arduous to understand the size of the universe. It’s tough to think about even the dimensions of the whole photo voltaic system, not to mention our galaxy. And our galaxy is only one amongst billions within the universe. Actually, galaxies don’t simply exist alone, however usually work together with one another — and sometimes come collectively in huge teams known as galaxy clusters.
This week’s picture from the Hubble House Telescope reveals one such galaxy cluster named Abell 1351, positioned within the constellation of Ursa Main. Galaxy clusters are teams of hundreds of galaxies held collectively by gravity, and their lots are measured on the size of quadrillions of occasions the mass of the solar. This explicit remark reveals what sort of results that a lot mass can have on space-time.
The huge galaxy cluster Abell 1351 is captured on this picture by the NASA/ESA Hubble House Telescope’s Broad Area Digicam 3 and Superior Digicam for Surveys. This galaxy cluster lies within the constellation Ursa Main within the northern hemisphere. ESA/Hubble & NASA, H. Ebeling Acknowledgement: L. Shatz
Throughout the picture, you’ll be able to see streaks of sunshine that are footage of distant galaxies. As a result of the mass of the galaxy cluster is so nice, it warps space-time sufficient that gentle passing by way of it will get bent and unfold out, like a magnifying glass. That is known as gravitational lensing, and it permits researchers to see objects resembling galaxies which can be far additional away than we may usually observe.
There are completely different levels of gravitational lensing, relying on the mass of the thing performing as a lens. If the lens is very large sufficient and the sunshine supply is near it, it can bend gentle to such a level that you simply would possibly see a number of pictures of the identical gentle supply. That’s known as robust gravitational lensing. There may be additionally an impact known as weak gravitational lensing, by which the lens is much less large or the sunshine supply is way away, which might stretch the sunshine supply and make it seem bigger or of a unique form.
There’s additionally an impact known as microlensing, which is used to detect exoplanets, by which gentle from a distant object (a star on this case) seems brighter due to the physique in entrance of it (the exoplanet).
Each robust and weak microlensing are brought on by Abell 1351, and the cluster is being studied to each decide its mass and with the intention to see distant galaxies.
“This remark is a part of an astronomical album comprising snapshots of a number of the most large galaxy clusters,” Hubble scientists write. “This menagerie of large clusters demonstrates fascinating astrophysical phenomena resembling robust gravitational lensing, in addition to showcasing spectacular examples of violent galaxy evolution.”