Hubble Captures a Dormant Galaxy Through a Cosmic Lens
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Newman, M. Akhshik, K. Whitaker

Hubble Captures a Dormant Galaxy Through a Cosmic Lens

Hubble Space Telescope has captured a new stunning photo of a distant galaxy. However, the latest image is due to an astronomical event: gravitational lensing. Framed by the tell-tale arcs and with the boost of this extraordinary phenomenon, experts are able to warp, enlarge, or duplicate the image of the faraway galaxies.

What is gravitational lensing?

Why is this astronomical phenomenon so striking? According to researchers, gravitational lensing takes place when light from a faraway galaxy is slightly deformed or bent by the gravitational pull of an interceding massive object. However, this time astronomers were able to use the natural magnifying glass to explore dormant galaxies. 

The image above shows the slumbering MRG-M0138 that was leased by MACSJ0138.0-2155, a galaxy cluster close to Earth. However, the inactive galaxy is located pretty far away from both our planet and MACSJ0138.0-2155. At 10 billion light-years away from Earth, the giant galaxy has run out of gas and can’t “born” new starts. 

By using gravitational lensing, scientists can overpass the Hubble’s capacity and explore distant galaxies. Without the astronomical event, it is very difficult for the Space Telescope to frame this sort of image. 

“Astronomers can use gravitational lensing as a natural magnifying glass, allowing them to inspect objects like distant dormant galaxies which would usually be too difficult for even Hubble to resolve,” NASA explains.

Hubble’s astronomical instruments

The latest view was framed with the help of eight infrared filters. The filters were positioned around the Telescope’s most innovative astronomical instruments: the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3.

The space crew equipped Hubble with these infrared systems during the last two servicing missions. The latest equipment allows astronomers to make detailed observations in a splendid manner. It also allows the experts to explore a wide portion of the sky and wavelengths. 

You can see more images from Hubble on the official website.