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‘Einstein Ring’ Observed in Space: World’s Largest Space Telescope Captures Photo

Einstein Ring: The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of the American space agency NASA has captured the light emanating from a quasar.

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) of the US space agency NASA has captured light emanating from a quasar, known as the Einstein Ring. This quasar, named RX J1131-1231, is located in the Crater constellation, about 6 billion light-years away from Earth. The defining feature of the Einstein Ring is its four bright spots, which are visible due to a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.

Before delving further, it’s essential to understand what a quasar is. A quasar is a subclass of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs). These are incredibly bright galactic cores where intense light is emitted due to gas and dust falling into a black hole.

Gravitational lensing occurs when light from a distant object, such as a quasar, passes through space-time. During this process, the light bends and forms a ring-like shape.

Quasar RX J1131-1231 is a supermassive black hole at the center of a young galaxy. It emits powerful energy while consuming vast amounts of matter. The lens of an unnamed galaxy acts as a gravitational lens for the light of this quasar, appearing as a blue point in the middle of the ring. Due to lensing, the light of the quasar is magnified and repeated, resulting in the appearance of four bright spots. The European Space Agency explains that these bright spots are essentially mirror images of a single bright spot formed due to lensing.

Images like the Einstein Ring are crucial for scientific research. They provide a glimpse into the distant universe and offer insights into its structure and nature. The concept of gravitational lensing was first predicted by Albert Einstein.


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