The most complete example of an Einstein ring. Today’s Image of the Day from the European Space Agency features the narrow galaxy GAL-CLUS-022058s, which is located in the southern hemisphere constellation of Fornax. This galaxy is one of the largest and most complete examples of an Einstein ring ever discovered in our Universe.
An Einstein ring, also known as a Chwolson ring, is created when light from a galaxy or star passes by a massive object on its way to the Earth. In a process known as gravitational lensing, light is pulled away and diverted, which makes it appear to come from different places.
The scientists who are studying this Einstein ring have nicknamed it the “Molten Ring.” In its case, the light from the background galaxy has been bent and pulled into a curved figure by the gravity of the galaxy cluster sitting in front of it.
According to the ESA, the near exact alignment of the background galaxy with the central elliptical galaxy of the cluster has warped and magnified the image of the background galaxy around itself into an almost perfect ring.
The image was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
Image Credit: ESA