Einstein’s Cross   Leave a comment

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Multiple images of the Supernova Refsdal, appearing over time.  Credit: NASA and European Space Agency 

There’s a sight to behold in the universe, located in the constellation Pegasus.  It’s known as the Einstein Cross, a singular supernova that is seen four times.  It’s an example of the forces of time and gravity meeting in space, and what can happen when they dance together.

Simply put, the Einstein Cross is the result of gravitational lensing.  That means there’s something in the way that’s spreading the view.  Take, for example, one exploding star.  Place in front of it a collection of galaxies.  The gravitational force is such that the rays of light are spread in several different directions, and in this case, four.  So while it’s rare enough to catch a star exploding, it’s even more magnificent to watch it four times.

The New York Times has a great article and a very cool video regarding this unique occurrence in the universe.  You can read it here.

Posted March 6, 2015 by seleneymoon in Nature, Sci-Fi, The Universe

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