Cosmic superlens gives telescopes a boost | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


Science Visualized

Cosmic superlens gives telescopes a boost

Galaxy cluster’s immense gravity magnifies the light of distant objects

By
7:00am, June 2, 2015
Abell 2744

MAPPING A COSMIC LENS  The strong gravity of galaxy cluster Abell 2744 magnifies (color) and elongates (gray lines) light from galaxies that lurk in the very distant universe.

The ultimate telescope upgrade lies about 3.5 billion light-years away in the constellation Sculptor.

Abell 2744 (below) is a galaxy cluster whose tremendous mass — equivalent to 2 quadrillion suns — turns it into a gravitational lens that bends and magnifies light from distant objects. This effect allows astronomers to peer farther into space than any telescope can do alone. By studying images of far-flung galaxies revealed by Abell 2744, researchers created a map (above) that charts how the cosmic lens manipulates light from the far side of the universe.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content