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Einstein ring caused by gravitational lensing

Einstein ring caused by gravitational lensing

R932/0040

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Credit

NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Einstein ring. Coloured combined radio and infra- red 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 (white) is positioned between Earth and another galaxy. Infrared (orange) and radio frequency (blue, green) radiation from the distant galaxy is bent around the nearer one by its gravitational pull, forming a ring. The phenomenon is known as gravitational lensing. The idea that light could be bent by gravity was put forward by Einstein in his general theory of relativity.

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