One Galaxy, Three Times

This star- and galaxy-studded image was captured by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), using data that were collected for scientific purposes. The object of interest was a galaxy that is visible in the bottom right corner of the image, named SGAS 0033+02. What makes this particular galaxy interesting is a little unusual — it appears not just once in this image, but three times. The thrice-visible galaxy is a little difficult to spot: it appears once as a curved arc and twice more as small round dots around the star.

SGAS 0033+02’s multiple appearances in the same image are not the result of an error, but instead are due to a remarkable phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing occurs when the light from a very distant galaxy — such as SGAS 0033+02 — is curved (or ‘lensed’) by the gravity of a massive celestial object that lies in the foreground, between the distant galaxy and the Earth. SGAS 0033+02 was discovered by its namesake, the Sloan Giant Arcs Survey (SGAS), which aimed to identify highly magnified galaxies that were gravitationally lensed by foreground galaxy clusters. SGAS 0033+02 is of special interest because of its highly unusual proximity in the sky to a very bright star. The star is useful, because it can be used to calibrate and correct observations of the lensed SGAS 0033+02.

Links

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, E. Wuyts

About the Image

Id:potw2147a
Type:Observation
Release date:22 November 2021, 06:00
Size:3467 x 3096 px

About the Object

Constellation:Pisces
Category:Galaxies
Stars

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.7 MB
Screensize JPEG
204.5 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
204.0 KB
1280x1024
326.4 KB
1600x1200
486.8 KB
1920x1200
611.2 KB
2048x1536
825.1 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):0 33 39.96
Position (Dec):2° 42' 51.69"
Field of view:2.29 x 2.04 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 82.6° left of vertical


Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
Strömgren v
410 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
Y
1.05 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
JH
1.4 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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