Monday, February 9

Hubble Telescope Spots Smiley Face Amongst The Stars

There are few things in life more entertaining than a face in otherwise inanimate objects. Particularly if said objects are in outer space. In this case, galaxy cluster SDSS J1038+4849 (that's a mouthful) is quite happy. The image was spotted by Julie Schmidt, and...well, that's a smile if I ever saw one.

Of course, the "face" is caused by a galactic phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Large galaxy clusters can produce such a strong gravitational pull that they actually warp the time and space around them--this makes the clusters more visible to space telescopes, but it also warps the objects. The ring making up the "face" in this case is called an Einstein Ring; another line of warping makes the smile. The eyes are made up of two bright galaxies. And they twinkle like a big pizza pie.

No comments:

Post a Comment