After almost a year of research, NASA Hubble Space Telescope revealed more about gravitationally warped spaces and the Molten Ring Galaxy. Scientists explained how Einstein rings create a "space magnifying glass" that lets space watchers see galaxies from billions of light years away!
Back in 1912, Albert Einstein theorized that light from a faraway galaxy would warp because of the gravitional influence of an object positioned between the source and observer. To summarize, Einstein said skywatchers could see very distant galaxies through a natural space-made magnifying glass.
This warped space would eventually create a circular lens around the "magnifying glass" area, creating a deep-space optical phenomenon called "graviational lensing."
NASA Hubble Images: The Molten Ring in Constellation Fornax
On December 19, 2020, Hubble first spotted the majestic and very rare phenomenon of Einstein rings on GAL-CLUS-022058s. This space object is located on the southern hemisphere of constellation Fornax (the Furnace). GAL-CLUS-022058 has one of the most complete Einstein rings that gave it the name Molten Ring.
Hubble's glamour shots of the universe aren't just proper eye-candy; they also nearly always have a discovery behind them. 🍭👀— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) September 23, 2021
In this case, a discovery followed the release of an observation of an optical phenomenon dubbed an "Einstein ring."
More: https://t.co/lyF7Jm5FW8 pic.twitter.com/J4BgX7cgkf
As seen on the tweeted image, the Molten Ring has one very long golden tail on its left. A bright body of light, which retained its spherical round glow, stays at the middle of this circle. Continuous research on the space object recently revealed more exciting facts about the Molten Ring.
NASA Hubble Videos: Explaining Molten Ring
NASA discovered that the light inside this image was magnified by 20X. Hubble's observing capability was boosted to a 48-meter aperture (157 feet) telescope. The light curved out and emphasized one galaxy in the background.
NASA theorized that the golden galaxy tail forming the circle is about 9 billion light-years away. The celestial body in the middle of the circle is approximately 4 billion light-years away.
To emphasize, the outer ring is much farther from Earth than the galaxy inside the circle. Notably, the circular galaxy is a lot clearer than the galaxy inside the circle. Again, this happened due to gravitational lensing, which warps the space and magnifies the stars.
A lead investigator from the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena, Anastasio Díaz-Sánchez, explained that "Hubble helped us to identify the four duplicated images and the stellar clumps of the lensed galaxy."
Zooming in on the photo, the real galaxy is possibly the very bottom section of the image. This galaxy was later refracted and "stretched" thanks to gravitational lensing.
Scientists hope to study more about Einstein rings in the coming years. Researchers said Einstein's theory of general relativity should prove useful to present-day reading on giant elliptical galaxies. This research should also aid scientists in improving their reading on space distance.
It is worth noting that this ongoing research is credited to the international project cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). The space agencies hope to research even deeper in the celestial phenomenon on the near future.