I’m Back, Part Deux – I See You Over There.

No, really I’m back.  Moving after a decade at the same law firm was FAR more time consuming that I thought it would be.  And I am still not completely finished.  But on to more fun and interesting astronomical things.

If I had a child, they would be about the same age as the Hubble.  That in and of itself should send me off to a mid-life crisis, but I digress.  Isn’t it amazing that this one space telescope that has completely changed our fundamental understanding of the Universe is still operational?

I hope the James Webb space telescope manages to get into orbit before Hubble finally fails.

Gravitational lensing by a giant elliptical galaxy in the cluster IRC 0218: the galaxy (red object in the enlarged view at left) is so massive that its gravity bends, magnifies, and distorts light from objects behind it, a phenomenon called gravitational lensing; the object behind the cosmic lens (seen in the enlarged view at right) is a small spiral galaxy undergoing a rapid burst of star formation; its light has taken 10.7 billion years to arrive here. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Kim-Vy Tran, Texas A&M University / Kenneth Wong, Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics.

But while it is still operational, the science just keeps pouring in.  The latest achievement of this venerable craft is the most distant gravitational lens ever found.  Of course the lens is no longer there because it occurred about 9.6 Billion years ago, but we have a lovely image of what happened back then shown above.

Gravitational lensing is the phenomena where a strong gravity field bends light around the source and causes object behind the gravity source to distort and magnify the object behind.  Additionally, the lensing (depending on the location of the objects) can split the light from the object behind the gravity source into different bands.

A neat trick from an old dog that has taught us a whole bunch of new tricks.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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