2022-06-29

The Hubble Space Telescope captured a huge cluster of galaxies that actually distorted space-time

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The Hubble Space Telescope captured a huge cluster of galaxies that actually distorted space-time

The scale of our universe is truly amazing. For decades, scientists have discovered a variety of different galaxies. In fact, there are even galaxies that are grouped together. Some of these clusters are so large that they distort the space-time around them.

Hubble recently shared an image of such a galaxy cluster, a giant galaxy cluster called Abell 1351. The image of the galaxy cluster has recently received attention as Hubble’s “this week’s image”. But this galaxy cluster is not just big. It is also noteworthy for how it bends the surrounding light.

These clusters often contain billions or tens of billions of times the mass of our sun. This is because galaxy clusters such as Abell 1351 are made up of thousands of galaxies gathered by gravity. One side effect of so much mass coming together is that it bends the light of other nearby bodies. This allows the cluster to truly distort the space-time around it.

But it did not stop. Gravitational lens, that is, the bending of light around the so-called galaxy clusters and other celestial bodies, will also magnify them to form a magnifying glass similar to the Milky Way galaxy. This allows scientists to see galaxies and celestial bodies far beyond the distortion of space-time around galaxy clusters. Scientists have used this to discover many stars and planets.

Scientists’ understanding of space-time is based on Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Based on this theory, space and time are fused together to form a quantity called space-time. This theory also helps scientists determine how massive objects cause space-time warping. This is because this theory holds that gravity is the curvature of space-time.

When light passes through space-time, the theory predicts that the path of light will bend around massive celestial bodies. Scientists see gravitational clumps distorting spacetime, because the mass and gravity of these massive clumps do cause galactic light to bend around them.

Galaxy clusters like Abell 1351 and others bend light around them because they are so large. This mass creates a strong gravitational pull. This causes light to bend as it travels around the cluster. Similar effects can be seen around black holes, such as the black hole in the center of our Milky Way galaxy.