Location of the Gravitationally Lensed Galaxy in the Cluster

Location of the Gravitationally Lensed Galaxy in the Cluster

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Fast Facts
News release ID: STScI-1997-25
Release Date: Jul 30, 1997
Image Use: Copyright
About this image

A NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the galaxy cluster CL1358+62 has uncovered a gravitationally-lensed image of a more distant galaxy located far beyond the cluster. The gravitationally-lensed image appears as a red crescent to the lower right of center. The galaxy's image is brightened, magnified, and smeared into an arc-shape by the gravitational influence of the intervening galaxy cluster, which acts like a gigantic lens.

Exact measurement of the distance from spectroscopic observations with the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii show the lensed galaxy is the farthest ever seen. Its light is only reaching us now from a time when the universe was but 7% its current age of approximately 14 billion years. This places the young galaxy as far as 13 billion light-years away. The lensing foreground cluster is 5 billion light-years from us.

Annotated Observations, Galaxies, Galaxy Clusters, Gravitational Lensing


Marijn Franx (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Garth Illingworth (University of California, Santa Cruz) and NASA