A very rare astronomical phenomenon has been occurring a lot lately and with good reason. It will take hundreds of years until we can see Jupiter and Saturn so close together again. However, there are still some “really strange and very rare phenomena” that can currently be observed in our night sky. The only problem is that you need access to Hubble to observe these phenomena.
As always, Hubble offers an absolutely breathtaking picture. This particular image depicts a gravitational lensing effect that gives an almost perfect example of an ‘Einstein ring’. The image of this ring, called GAL-CLUS-022058s, or, in an illuminated bit of astronomical brands, the “Molten Ring”, was announced late last week.
The brand idea comes in part from the physical appearance of the object, which indeed looks like a molten metal ring. But it also comes from the location of the object itself. Located in the southern constellation Fornax (the furnace), the image shows an extremely distant galaxy whose light is deflected by a much closer galaxy.
One of the benefits of this lens effect is that it enables scientists to study the galaxy better, which would otherwise be completely invisible. Although it is not the only known example of the phenomena, it is one of the most striking. But there is much more to find, which Hubble will continue to do, no matter how aligned the planets of our solar system are.
NASA – Hubble See a ‘Molten Ring’
Astronomy.com: screenshot: Hubble Captures ‘Molten Ring’
UT: near perfect “Einstein Ring” discovered
UT: New “Einstein ring” discovered by dark energy camera