NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Einstein ring. Infrared image of an Einstein ring in the system B1938+666. An Einstein ring is formed when two massive objects are perfectly aligned with each other as seen from Earth. In the case of B1938+666, a huge galaxy (bright spot at centre of the ring) is positioned between Earth and another galaxy. Light from the distant galaxy is bent around the nearer one by its gravitational pull, forming a ring of light. This phenomenon is known as gravitational lensing. The effect is known as an Einstein ring as the idea that light could be bent by gravity was put forward by Einstein in his general theory of relativity.
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