Astronomers recently observed a rare phenomenon that Albert Einstein said we would probably never see. This is the so-called Einstein Cross, which was created by a research group led by Alexander Sykota with assistance Discovery of the Very Large Telescope (VTL). had become.
An image from the telescope shows four blue dots arranged around an orange dot. This arrangement is not a coincidence: it is the effect of gravitational lensing, in which light from a distant galaxy or quasar is deflected by the gravitational pull of a nearby massive galaxy in such a way that multiple images of the distant object are formed. In this case, the four galaxies form a distinct cross – hence the name “Einstein’s Cross.”
In this specific case, the four blue dots are the same galaxy, eleven billion light-years away. As for the orange galaxy in the middle, it is only about five billion light-years away from Earth.
The effect is created by the perfect alignment of the two galaxies and the telescope here on Earth, activating the gravitational lensing effect.
This type of “cosmic distortion” is based on Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which states that massive objects bend space-time around them. When light from a distant galaxy passes a massive object, it follows this bending.
This is similar to what happens when light is refracted through a lens, hence the name “lens effect.” In practice, this means that we can see multiple images of the same light source or the light is amplified.
At the time he presented the theory, it was just a theory. Einstein believed that the chances of seeing this phenomenon in reality were very low.
inverse He speculates that Einstein may have thought we would not be able to find galaxies so far away to observe the effect. In his time, we also did not have telescopes powerful enough to make such discoveries.
But things are different now: Einstein crosses have already been observed several dozen times, but they remain rare in scientific observation.
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