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HomeSCIENCEGalaxy Cluster Warps Space and Time, James Webb Telescope Show -Se

Galaxy Cluster Warps Space and Time, James Webb Telescope Show -Se

Cosmic seahorse
ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, J. Rigby

  • New cosmic images of galactic “arcs and streaks” in space were released Tuesday by NASA’s James Webb Telescope.
  • Galaxies are bending space and time in a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.
  • This effect also helps make distant galaxies appear larger.

New photos of galactic “arcs and streaks” in space released by NASA’s James Webb Telescope show just how trippy a phenomenon called gravitational lensing can look.

Gravitational lensing is a literal warping of spacetime. This occurs when a celestial body with a significant gravitational pull “causes enough curvature in spacetime to visibly bend the path of light around it, as if by a lens,” The European Space Agency explained.

Basically, celestial objects will distort the galaxy and the stars behind it to someone looking from afar.

Gravitational lensing has a magnifying effect, making it helpful for scientists studying distant galaxies that might otherwise be very difficult to spot. The SDSS J1226+2149 galaxy cluster shown in this new photo is about 6.3 billion light-years away, in the star Coma Berenices, according to ESA.

Because of this effect, NIRCam, the web’s primary near-infrared camera, was able to capture a clear and bright image Cosmic Seahorse Galaxy – Shown as a “long, bright, and distorted arc spreading near the core” in the lower right quadrant.

The revolutionary space telescope, which continues to capture some of the clearest, jaw-dropping photos of the universe’s far reaches, last year captured gravitational lensing in a photo of the SMACS 0723 galaxy cluster. The “deep field” image, the first full-color image NASA unveiled from the web on July 11, captured galaxies more than 13 billion years old.

The James Webb Space Telescope’s first deep-field infrared image, released on July 11, 2022.

Photos released in October included a cluster of stars 5.6 billion light-years away. Light from the MACS0647-JD system is bent and magnified by the massive gravity of the galaxy cluster MACS0647.



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