Release 44 of 99

Hubble Discovers 67 New Gravitationally Lensed Galaxies in the Distant Universe

Release date: Feb 19, 2008 9:00 AM (EST)

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have compiled a large catalog of gravitational lenses in the distant universe. The catalog contains 67 new gravitationally lensed galaxy images found around massive elliptical and lenticular-shaped galaxies. This sample demonstrates the rich diversity of strong gravitational lenses. If this sample is representative, there would be nearly half a million similar gravitational lenses over the whole sky. The COSMOS project, led by Nick Scoville at the California Institute of Technology, used observations from several observatories including Hubble, the Spitzer Space Telescope, the XMM-Newton spacecraft, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Very Large Telescope, and the Subaru Telescope. A team of European astronomers, led by Cecile Faure (Zentrum fur Astronomie, University of Heidelberg) and Jean-Paul Kneib (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille) utilized three key data sets of the COSMOS survey: the Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys high resolution imaging, the Suprime camera Subaru Telescope imaging, and the Megacam camera Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope multicolor imaging.