- NASA’s James Webb Telescope has released new cosmic images of galactic “arcs and streaks” in space.
- Galaxies bend space and time in a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.
- This effect also helps to magnify distant galaxies.
New images of galactic “bows and streaks” in space released by NASA’s James Webb Telescope show what a phenomenon called gravitational lensing might look like.
Gravitational lensing is a literal distortion of space-time. Occurs when a celestial body with a large gravitational force “causes enough curvature of space-time that the path of light around it is visually bent, as if by a lens”, The European Space Agency explains.
Essentially, the orb distorts the galaxies and stars behind it to a person looking from far away.
Gravitational lensing also has a magnifying effect, which makes it useful for scientists studying distant galaxies that can be very difficult to spot. The galaxy cluster SDSS J1226+2149 shown in this newer image is located about 6.3 billion light-years away, in the constellation of Coma Berenices, according to the European Space Agency.
Because of this effect, NIRCam, its primary near-infrared webcam, was able to capture a clearer, brighter camera image. Seahorse cosmic galaxy It appears as a “long, bright, distorting arc propagating near the heart” in the right lower quadrant.
The revolutionary space telescope, which continues to capture some of the clearest, sharpest images of the far reaches of the universe, gravitationally lensed last year an image of galaxy cluster SMACS 0723. The “Deep Field” image, which was the first full-color image NASA revealed from Webb on July 11 Galaxies over 13 billion years old.
The images, released in October, included a group of stars 5.6 billion light-years away. Light from the MACS0647-JD system is bent and amplified by the massive gravity of galaxy cluster MACS0647.
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