Using gravitational lensing, Hubble has peered farther back in time than ever before.
Gravitational lensing occurs when the light from a distant object is bent, by gravity, around a large cosmic structure.
Because the light was bent by the gigantic galaxy cluster Abell 2744, or Pandora’s Cluster, three images of the distant galaxy where actually captured in the image above. The gravitational lens magnifies the image over 10 times what would normally be captured by Hubble’s imaging sensors.
Spectrographic analysis shows that the galaxy is only 850 light-years across, about 500 times smaller than the Milky Way galaxy’s 100,000 light year size. Researchers also estimate that it only has a mass of 40 million suns, compared to the 100,000,000,000 we have in our galaxy. The galaxy is so far back that it formed about 500 million years after the big bang.
– Ex astris, scientia –
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