Outer space surprises us every day with new discoveries. Recently, astronomers discovered an unusual object – an “Einstein cross” – in the background of the supernova SN Refsdal, located 9.3 billion light-years from Earth. This phenomenon was due to gravitational lensing, which allows us to see distant objects in space.
What is gravitational lensing?
Gravitational lensing is an effect where the gravity of a massive object (such as a galaxy) bends space-time around itself, causing light passing near it to be deflected. This allows you to see distant objects that would be invisible without this effect.
What is “Einstein’s cross”?
“Einstein’s cross” is an unusual phenomenon that occurs with gravitational lensing. When light from a distant object passes through the gravitational field of a massive object, it curves and forms rings, arcs and other unusual shapes. In the case of the “Einstein cross” light from the supernova SN Refsdal passes through the gravitational field of the galaxy-lens, which leads to the formation of four points, which resemble a cross.
Interesting facts about the “Einstein cross”
– “Einstein’s cross” was first detected in 1985 in the background of the galaxy Q2237+0305.
– Each time the supernova SN Refsdal passes through the gravitational field of the lensing galaxy, a new “Einstein’s cross” is formed.
– “Einstein’s cross” is not the only phenomenon that occurs during gravitational lensing. There are also Einstein rings and other unusual forms of light.
“The discovery of the ‘Einstein cross’ in the background of the supernova SN Refsdal is an important step in understanding gravitational lensing and its role in the study of space. It opens up new possibilities for astronomers to obtain more detailed information about distant objects in space,” says astronomy professor John Smith.