Probing the distant past

Obtained for a research programme on star formation in old and distant galaxies, this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image obtained with its Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) demonstrates the immense effects of gravity; more specifically, it shows the effects of gravitational lensing caused by an object called SDSS J1152+3313.

Gravitational lenses — such as this galaxy cluster SDSS J1152+3313 — possess immense masses that warp their surroundings and bend the light from faraway objects into rings, arcs, streaks, blurs, and other odd shapes. This lens, however, is not only warpping the appearance of a distant galaxy — it is also amplifying its light, making it appear much brighter than it would be without the lens. Combined with the high image quality obtainable with Hubble, this gives valuable clues into how stars formed in the early Universe.

Star formation is a key process in astronomy. Everything that emits light is somehow connected to stars, so understanding how stars form is key to understanding countless objects lying across the cosmos. Astronomers can probe these early star-forming regions to learn about the sizes, luminosities, formation rates, and generations of different types of stars.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

About the Image

Id:potw1831a
Type:Observation
Release date:30 July 2018, 06:00
Size:3446 x 1946 px

About the Object

Name:SDSS J1152+3313
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
Constellation:Ursa Major
Category:Cosmology

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.4 MB
Screensize JPEG
132.2 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
194.3 KB
1280x1024
323.6 KB
1600x1200
465.3 KB
1920x1200
548.0 KB
2048x1536
758.4 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):11 52 0.29
Position (Dec):33° 13' 42.14"
Field of view:2.28 x 1.29 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 34.6° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
g
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
J
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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