HomeSportsFormula 1NASA's James Webb Space Telescope captured Einstein ring

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope captured Einstein ring

An astronomy fan from Reddit processed a picture of an almost perfectly circular Einstein ring, which was originally captured by NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).

According to their bio, Reddit user “Spaceguy44” is an astronomy grad student. They were able to produce the image with the aid of the data gathered by the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) of the JWST.

The picture was posted on August 23 under the subreddit r/jameswebbdiscoveries. The community, which was created on January 15 of this year, is the “largest subreddit on James Webb Telescope” with over 100k members, despite it being fairly new.

The same individual had previously published a picture of the same Einstein ring with the help of the data obtained by Webb’s NIRCam sensor. However, the initial photograph, which was published on August 13, had a lower resolution and a less visible ring light as compared to the latest one.

“Spaceguy44” stated, “We wouldn’t be able to see J0418 if it weren’t for the light-bending properties of gravity. Without the lensing effect, the galaxy would probably look like most distant galaxies: a small blob of light.”

J0418, a shorter version for SPT-S J041839-4751.8, is a distant galaxy. It is the source of the ring of light showcased in the picture, distancing approximately 12 billion light-years away from Earth.

Meanwhile, the bright blue light at the centre of its halo is from another galaxy—this visual effect is due to J0418’s orientation of being directly behind the latter.

An Einstein Ring is an astronomical phenomenon and an example of the gravitational lens effect. The name originated from Albert Einstein and his first prediction about the effect during his development of the Theory of Relativity in the year 1912.

According to Hyperphysics.com, the gravity lens effect occurs when “gravity causes a deflection of light by the gravitational field of a massive body” and leads to the creation of an Einstein ring, wherein “a galaxy bends the light emanating from a galaxy that is directly behind it, focusing the otherwise divergent light into a visible ring.”

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