Author Topic: I Can't See  (Read 721 times)

Offline Nam (OP)

  • Unofficial Atheist Deity "Namgod"
  • *
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1513
  • Total likes: 75
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
I Can't See
« on: July 31, 2014, 07:23:26 PM »
...where did I leave my magnifying glass?

[Mobile link]

http://m.space.com/26700-hubble-telescope-cosmic-magnifying-glass-record.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+spaceheadlines+(SPACE.com+Headline+Feed)

Quote
In a surprising discovery, astronomers have found a faraway galaxy that doubles as a cosmic "magnifying glass." At 9.6 billion light-years away, it could be the most distant such object known to science, NASA announced today (July 31).

Spotted in observations from the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Hubble Space Telescope, the galaxy is big enough to magnify an even more distant galaxy 10.7 billion light-years away, thanks to a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.

Through lensing, the gravitational field of a massive foreground object bends, warps and magnifies the light from more distant objects. This phenomenon can reveal extremely dim, faraway galaxies that astronomers otherwise wouldn't be able to see.

But finding a galaxy huge enough to act as a lens is rare. Most of the hundreds of lensing galaxies astronomers know about today are relatively nearby. When peeking into the early universe, astronomers don't expect to find a lensing galaxy neatly stacked in front of another, smaller galaxy in the background, lead researcher Kim-Vy Tran of Texas A&M University in College Station said in a NASA statement.

Tran used the analogy of looking through an actual magnifying glass to explain: "Imagine holding a magnifying glass close to you and then moving it much farther away. When you look through a magnifying glass held at arm's length, the chances that you will see an enlarged object are high. But if you move the magnifying glass across the room, your chances of seeing the magnifying glass nearly perfectly aligned with another object beyond it diminishes."

The newfound magnifying galaxy belongs a distant galaxy cluster known as IRC 0218. It is 180 billion times more massive than our sun, and at 9.6 light-years away, it breaks the previous record-holder for most distant lensing galaxy by 200 million years, according to NASA.

Tran and colleagues discovered the galaxy while studying star formation in IRC 0218 using spectrographic data from the Keck Observatory. She saw a strong spot of hot hydrogen gas — a signature of star formation — that seemed to be emanating from a giant old elliptical galaxy. Tran was worried that she made a mistake with her observations because previous research showed that this elliptical galaxy had long quit making stars.

But after analyzing other images taken by the Hubble telescope, Tran realized she hadn't made a mistake, but was looking at a smaller, more distant spiral galaxy undergoing a burst of star formation behind the galaxy in IRC 0218. In the Hubble images, the distorted light from the galaxy 10.7 billion light-years away appeared as smears that were bluish in color (as galaxies with young stars often do).

The findings were published in The Astrophysical Letters Journal on July 10. A version of the paper is free to read online at the preprint service arxiv.org.

I wonder if it can see the aliens?

-Nam
Mad cow disease...it's not just for cows, or the mad!

Offline Naru

Re: I Can't See
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 07:43:48 PM »
Now is that galaxy still there. Since its 9.6 billion light years away means the light is 9.6 billions years old.

Offline Nam (OP)

  • Unofficial Atheist Deity "Namgod"
  • *
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1513
  • Total likes: 75
  • I'm on the road less traveled...
Re: I Can't See
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2014, 10:44:12 PM »
Now is that galaxy still there. Since its 9.6 billion light years away means the light is 9.6 billions years old.

I thought of that too. Looking into the past.

-Nam
Mad cow disease...it's not just for cows, or the mad!

Re: I Can't See
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 12:13:40 AM »
The aliens are already here, helping the USAF. :eek: :pidu: :super: Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: I Can't See
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 11:23:47 AM »
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: I Can't See
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 11:31:22 AM »
A terrific uplifting song. Thanks! Solitary
There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.

Re: I Can't See
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 04:48:19 PM »
A terrific uplifting song. Thanks! Solitary
Old favorite of mine.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers