NASA / ESA / STSCI / A.FRUCHTER, ERO TEAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / ESA / STSCI / A.FRUCHTER, ERO TEAM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Galaxy cluster Abell 2218. Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of the cluster of galaxies Abell 2218. Abell 2218 lies 2 billion light years from Earth. It is so massive that it bends the light of objects behind it. This is known as gravitational lensing, and causes the arcs seen in this image. The galaxies whose light has been distorted lie 5- 10 times further away than Abell 2218. Study of this lensing will aid understanding of the history of the universe. Image taken by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 on the HST on January 11-13th 2000. This was one of the first images HST took after its December 1999 repair mission.
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