Astronomers discover a 'magnifying glass' in space that acts like a time machine
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/1/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Astronomers have discovered a virtual magnifying glass in space that allows them to look farther back in time than they normally can, to an age when the universe was young and contained less mysterious dark matter.
Images which reveal the galaxies in question. They may look like pixels, however by examining light in fine detail with sensitive instruments astronomers can reveal a lot of basic knowledge about the objects.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Astronomers Kennith Wong and Sherry Suyu of Academic Sincia Institute of Astronomy in Taiwan have discovered a massive, distant elliptical galaxy in Hubble Space telescope images. By chance, behind that galaxy is another one, far older and more ancient that what we normally can see, even with the most sensitive instruments. We are able to see the galaxy behind the giant elliptical because the elliptical in the foreground acts as a magnifying glass.
Massive objects in space can distort the light from objects behind them, allowing them to serve as magnifying glasses. This effect is known as gravitational lensing and it was proposed theoretically decades before it was observed.
St. Dominic de Guzman, patron saint of astronomers.
Today, astronomers use this phenomenon to peer at distant objects deep in space, but there's a catch: we can't move the magnifying glass, so we're stuck seeing whatever we can see through the lensing effect and nothing more.
Still, objects like the massive elliptical galaxy are key to making observations of the early universe.
Behind the elliptical is a small spiral galaxy which is just forming -or at least it was just forming about 10.7 billion years ago. Another curious feature of space is that it takes time for light to travel. In this case, the light from the forming spiral took 10.7 billion years to reach observers on Earth. Since the universe formed about 13.7 billion years ago, the galaxy which astronomers see appears as it did not long after the universe formed.
These observations are important because they provide information about how the universe may have been formed.
The most interesting observation is that the ancient, small spiral does not have the same quantity of dark matter as modern galaxies do. This suggests that dark matter forms and accumulates over time. Dark matter is an unknown form of mass which is thought to bind entire galaxies together by gravity. Scientists only know what dark matter does, but not what it is.
Why is the ancient spiral deficient in dark matter compared to modern galaxies? It's a mystery that requires more research.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa. That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.
Some people see faith and science as being at odds. They find it astonishing that the Church can embrace investigation into questions of ... continue reading
The Pew Research Center has just published a major report on the future of work, jobs, and capitalism in the face of new technology and ... continue reading
Robots are beginning to appear in public, the first generation that will share our public spaces. As they begin to appear, designers must ... continue reading
A diminutive species of hominid, known as a "hobbit" lived in Indonesia some two to 1.5 million years ago. New research suggests they ... continue reading
Scientists are hopeful the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be renewed following tests that show the plane is likely in a new, ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- 'Miracle Workers': Owen Wilson and Daniel Radcliffe star as God and ...
- Daily Readings for Thursday, May 25, 2017
- Understanding the Feast of the Ascension as the Portal to Eternity
- Pope Francis and Donald Trump have monumental first meeting HD Video
- Daily Reading for Friday, May 26th, 2017 HD Video
- Manchester Bishop speaks out on horrific terrorist attack during ...
- St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi: Saint of the Day for Thursday, May 25, 2017
- Daily Reading for Thursday, May 25th, 2017 HD
- Bomb explodes during Ariana Grande concert full of young fans HD
- St. John Baptist de Rossi HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 HD
Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.