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The Einstein Cross

The Einstein Cross and the galaxy that causes this 'cosmic mirage', as seen with the FORS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope. This cross-shaped configuration consists of four images of a single very distant source. The multiple images are a result of gravitational lensing by a foreground galaxy, an effect that was predicted by Albert Einstein as a consequence of his theory of general relativity. The light source in the Einstein Cross is a quasar approximately ten billion light-years away, whereas the foreground lensing galaxy is ten times closer. The light from the quasar is bent in its path and magnified by the gravitational field of the lensing galaxy.

Credit:

ESO/F. Courbin et al

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About the Image

Id:eso0847a
Type:Observation
Release date:12 December 2008
Related releases:eso0847
Size:1024 x 1024 px

About the Object

Name:Einstein Cross, Gravitational Microlensing
Type:• Unspecified : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
• Unspecified : Galaxy : Activity : AGN : Quasar
• X - Quasars & Black Holes

Image Formats

Large JPEG
245.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
188.8 KB

Wallpapers

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1600x1200
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1920x1200
508.9 KB
2048x1536
642.5 KB

Coordinates

Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Optical Very Large Telescope
FORS1

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