Hubble Space Telescope scientists have recently announced that they have discovered 67 gravitational lenses lurking in images taken for a survey of galaxies. Hubble has spotted the gravitational lenses as part of the COSMOS survey into large scale structure of the Universe. The scientists have found some really cool lenses like the ‘Einstein Ring’ on the left. The results show that if the number of lenses seen by Hubble in this survey is typical of large sections of the sky then there could be hundreds of thousands of this type of gravitational lens across the whole night-sky!
This is one of the press releases that I worked on whilst in Germany last year. If you want to read the full story check it out on the ESA Hubble website here. As an aside it’s great to see Atlantis landed safely. Columbus is now installed on the International Space Station which is now looking incredible. The Columbus module is the one jutting out to the right hand side of the line of vertical modules in that image.
Above: This incredible ‘Einstein Ring’ captured by the Hubble Space Telescope is the product of a rare line-of-sight alignment of massive lensing galaxy, background galaxy and Hubble itself.
Credit: NASA, ESA, C. Faure (Zentrum für Astronomie, University of Heidelberg) and J.P. Kneib (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille)