Giant gravitational arc

Seeing is believing, except when you don't believe what you see. Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found a puzzling arc of light behind an extremely massive cluster of galaxies residing 10 billion light-years away. The galactic grouping, discovered by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, was observed when the universe was roughly a quarter of its current age of 13.7 billion years.

The giant arc is the stretched shape of a more distant galaxy whose light is distorted by the monster cluster's powerful gravity, an effect called gravitational lensing. The trouble is, the arc shouldn't exist.

Credit:

NASA, ESA/Hubble, and A. Gonzalez (University of Florida, Gainesville, USA), A. Stanford (University of California, Davis and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA) and M. Brodwin (University of Missouri-Kansas City and Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA).

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo1219c
Type:Observation
Release date:27 June 2012, 13:50
Size:450 x 450 px

About the Object

Name:IDCS J1426.5+3508
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
Category:Cosmology

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BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
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H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
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