Astronomers have discovered a giant magnifying glass space


17/07/2010

Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (CTI) and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland for the first time discovered a distant galaxy, the image of which increases the quasar, which acts as a gravitational lens. The discovery, based in part on observations made from the island of Hawaii observatory called WM Keck Observatory, was published July 16 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Quasars, it is remote and extremely bright objects at the center of which there are supermassive black holes. Quasar can be thousands of times brighter than the galaxy, consisting of hundreds of billions of stars that makes it extremely difficult to study their parent galaxies. According to the researchers, this study has allowed a better understanding of parent galaxy.

"It’s like trying to make out the color wheel rims car with the included bright lights," - said Frederick Kurbin of EPFL, the lead author of the article. But thanks to the gravitational lens, he said, "we are now able to measure the mass of the parent galaxy and quasar to overcome this difficulty."

According to the general theory of relativity, if a large mass (such as a large galaxy or cluster of galaxies) is on the line of sight to a distant galaxy, part of the light coming from the galaxy will split. Therefore, an observer on Earth will see two or more dissimilar images are far larger galaxy.

First gravitational lens was discovered in 1979 - and it increased the shared image of a distant quasar. At present, there are hundreds of gravitational quasars. But until now, scientists have found quasars, which are on the road looking to remote galaxies and distorted their image. This is the first time that the opposite is true: a massive galaxy distorts the image of the quasar. Only our informers tell the news on the latest news.

Original: Physorg.com


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