Release 566 of 1,153

Hubble Captures a "Five-Star" Rated Gravitational Lens

Release date: May 23, 2006 6:00 AM (EDT)

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured the first-ever picture of a group of five star-like images of a single distant quasar.

The multiple-image effect seen in the Hubble picture is produced by a process called gravitational lensing, in which the gravitational field of a massive object - in this case, a cluster of galaxies - bends and amplifies light from an object - in this case, a quasar - farther behind it.