A donut-like light ring that looks as ghostly as it is spectacular has allowed scientists to observe what is happening in a galaxy near the beginning of time.
This circle, often known as Einstein’s ring after the brilliant physicist who predicted its existence in 1915 is actually a slight blur caused by a lens effect that occurs when a foreground object with strong gravity magnifies the light of a more distant galaxy behind it.
According to statement published by the Hubble Space Telescope, we observe the ring galaxy as it was 9 billion years ago. This corresponds to the time when the universe was only about a third of its current age of 13.8 billion years!
Melted Ring View
The circle is called the “Melted Ring” and is cataloged as GAL-CLUS-022058s and is seen in the constellation Fornax, the Furnace, in the southern hemisphere, and if you think it looks familiar, you may be right. The image was first published in 2020, and experts say it is one of the most complete Einstein rings ever catalyzed.
Researchers then resurrected archival data collected by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope to calculate the galaxy’s distance of 9.4 billion light-years, and were able to recreate the smudges and duplications of the molten ring in the galaxy that formed it using images of the Hubble, who gave an idea of its evolution.
Through Hubble images it was discovered that the galaxy is in a series of star-forming galaxies, which is a correlation between the mass of the galaxy and the rate of star formation. This galaxy dates back to a time when star formation was at its highest, with new stars forming at speeds of 70 to 170 solar masses each year.
“It was a time when the universe was going through a baby boom, forming thousands of fertile stars. The magnified image of the galaxy gives astronomers a closer look at the distant past,” Hubble said in a statement.
According to Nikolaus Sulzenauer, Ph.D., a student at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany and a member of the research team “The discovery of molecular gas from which new stars are born” allowed us to calculate the exact redshift and thus give us confidence that we are really looking for in a very distant galaxy, “per communication published by the European Space Agency, project partner.
So what can we learn from this star-forming period in the history of the universe? We usually can’t see galaxies so well then, because in addition to their distance, they were extremely dusty. Studying this period can help scientists understand how today’s galaxies evolve.