April 1, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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The image from the Webb Space Telescope shows the same cluster three times

Three times the galaxies and supernova

in Press release writes ESA It relates to cluster RX J2129. It is located in the constellation of Aquarius, about 3.2 billion light-years from Earth.

In the photo you can see the group three times at three different times. At the same time, a supernova, a dying star exploding, can also be seen on three phases of its end.

In the first observations of the supernova, called AT2002riv, the explosion was clearly visible.

On the other two observations, which occurred 320 days and 1,000 days later, respectively, it faded and almost disappeared.

The supernova is a type 1a supernova. They are extremely useful to astronomers because their great brightness makes them useful in measuring astronomical distances.

The time change in the same image is due to the phenomenon of gravitational inversion, which is the bending of light due to the presence of a large space object with strong gravity.

Huge magnifying glass

The phenomenon was predicted by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity, and it was first documented in 1979 when two quasars were observed close to each other.

The space object, in this case a huge galaxy with a supernova, acts like a giant magnifying glass, affecting and amplifying the light of background objects, sometimes duplicating them at different times.

This is because the cluster light can take more than one path around the cluster cluster, so that the light appears on the other side multiple times, even though it comes from the same source.

Thus, through gravitational lensing, distant objects can appear brighter than they normally would. Astronomers can also use this to calculate the size of the RX J2129 cluster.

Because the mass in the cluster is not evenly distributed, the light rays from the supernova are deflected by the lens to varying degrees. As a result, they take the longer or shorter path to the observer—resulting in separate images, ESA writes.

The supernova was detected by observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, after which the Webb telescope zoomed in to the same coordinates and immortalized the phenomenon.

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