Hubble sees double Einstein ring

This is an image of gravitational lens system SDSSJ0946+1006 as photographed by Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The gravitational field of an elliptical galaxy warps the light of two galaxies exactly behind it. The massive foreground galaxy is almost perfectly aligned in the sky with two background galaxies at different distances. The foreground galaxy is 3 billion light-years away, the inner ring and outer ring are comprised of multiple images of two galaxies at a distance of 6 and approximately 11 billion light-years. The odds of seeing such a special alignment are estimated to be 1 in 10,000. The right panel is a zoom onto the lens showing two concentric partial ring-like structures after subtracting the glare of the central, foreground galaxy


NASA, ESA, and R. Gavazzi and T. Treu (University of California, Santa Barbara)

About the Image

NASA press release
Release date:10 January 2008, 16:00
Related releases:heic0803
Size:2770 x 1904 px

About the Object

Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed
Distance:z=0.609 (redshift)

Image Formats

r.titleLarge JPEG
879.3 KB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
153.7 KB

Print Layout

r.titleScreensize JPEG
137.1 KB

Colours & filters

814 nm Hubble Space Telescope

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