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Telescopes in Chile made it possible to solve the mystery of Einstein’s ‘melting ring’

An image captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows Einstein’s “melting ring” located in the southern hemisphere constellation Fornax.

Thanks to the use of telescopes in Chile A group of astronomers used a complex system Calculate the distance between Albert Einstein’s “molten ring” from Earth.

The galaxy curving in the image accompanying this observation as well as the ocean at its center is one of the most important mysteries in astronomy and one of the rare and unparalleled. This set bears the name “Einstein’s Ring” or “Molten Ring”, better known among experts with the designation GAL-CLUS-022058It is located in the southern hemisphere constellation Fornax (El Horno).

Through a statement and publication in the scientific journal “The Astrophysical Journal”, An international team of astronomers led by the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT), in Spain, and Professor Anastasio Diaz, They announced that they measured the distance between Einstein’s “molten ring” and the Earth.

To achieve this feat, astronomers used various instruments such as the Very Large Telescope. (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), located in the municipality of Taltal, northern Chile.

The distance between this galaxy and Earth was estimated to be 9.4 billion light-years. In other words, it took the light from this ring to travel 9.4 billion years at the speed of light (299,792.458 kilometers per second) to reach the instruments used by astronomers.

The German scientist raised “Einstein’s ring” for the first time in his famous theory of relativity, The ’round’ shape of this object can be explained by a process called ‘gravitational lensing’.

Image of the VLT (Very Large Telescope) from ESO (European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere) and its four powerful lasers in Paranal, Chile (ESO)
Image of the VLT (Very Large Telescope) from ESO (European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere) and its four powerful lasers in Paranal, Chile (ESO)

A ‘gravitational lens’ is formed when light from one object in space is bent by the gravitational force of another massive object. It is located between the emitter (Einstein’s ring) and the receiver (on Earth), which magnifies and distorts its image.

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In this way, in the image of the molten ring, the galaxy is seen in the form of a quadrilateral, and its true shape will be in the form of a spiral.

For those responsible for this outcome, reaching these conclusions was a great adventure. Professor Anastasio Diaz explained that this ring is one of the largest and most complete of all. The molten ring’s nickname is due to its appearance and the constellation of its host (the furnace).

The researcher also confirmed that his investigative work took years And that to determine the physical properties of this galaxy, a unique gravitational lensing model must be created, Which can be obtained thanks to the work and images of the Hubble telescope.

The origin of the episodes

German physicist Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics
German physicist Albert Einstein, 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics

The origin of these phenomena was first introduced by German physicist Albert Einstein, who said in 1911 that light is affected by the gravitational force of objects.

Einstein suggested this to try to confirm his ideas about general relativity. This indicates that the geometry of spacetime is affected by the presence of heavy objects such as planets or galaxies.

In 1915 this idea was confirmed by another scientist named Arthur Eddington. who confirmed this effect in a solar eclipse on the island of Principe off the west coast of Africa.

At that time, Arthur Eddington saw that the stars near the ecliptic arc appeared out of place. Where the light is deflected by the intense gravity of the sun. However, in 1979, the effect was much tougher thanks to technology. Since then Hundreds of Einstein’s rings have been discovered, but there are none more so than the one in this image.

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A galaxy far away

As explained by Nicholas Sulzenauer, of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany The light from this ring has traveled approximately 9.4 billion light-yearsWhat an unimaginable distance.

As Sulzinor explained that the detection of the molecular gas from which new stars are born, Made it easy for astronomers to calculate the redshift with great accuracyEmphasizing that it is a very distant galaxy.

Among the scientists who helped make this discovery are Anastasio Díaz Sánchez (UPCT) and Helmut Dänerbauer (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias)., Nicholas Sulzinor (Max Planck Institute for Radio, Germany), Susanna Iglesias-Groth (Institute for Astronomical Space in Canarias) and Rafael Ribolo (Institute of Astronomy in the Canary Islands).

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