Jan 19, 2019 | Updated: 08:39 AM EST

Watch: Gravitational Lensing Provided 50 Times Larger Images Of A Type 1A Supernova For The First Time

Apr 22, 2017 10:06 AM EDT


For the first time in space history, scientists have captured a 50 times magnified image of a 1A supernova. A galaxy was just perfectly positioned at the middle of Earth and the distant supernova whose gravitational waves distorted the light paths and gave four different images. Now, researchers are analyzing those images to learn more about the expanding universe.

The extremely rare phenomena were observed by Stockholm University astronomer Ariel Goobar, during the sky survey at Palomar Observatory in California. Space has reported that Goobar and his team has been surveying for few years and found this event: transient phenomena on April 20.

Lead researcher Goobar said,“What caught my immediate attention on this one is that it was way too bright considering its distance to us. It shown 50 times more intensely than it should, had there not been something amplifying the light”. He also explained that the intense brightness in such distance wasn’t a measurement error, it must be caused by a phenomenon called a gravitational lens.

According to The Verge, the glow only last for a week so, researchers turn the other telescopes to the blast of the supernova. The spectroscopic analysis suggests that it is a type 1A supernova. It shines in a constant brightness and researchers calculated it is about 4.3 billion light years away from earth which truly indicates that event already happened 4.3 billion years ago.

In general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein explained that gravity warps the space-time of an object like a curved lens made of a glass. The gravitational lens bent the light of the supernova as it passed by, thanks to the perfect alignment of the galaxy. When the light beams were passing through the galaxy, the gravitational lens split the beam into four different streams and re-focused in Earth’s view. Now, scientists are analyzing four images to learn more about the expansion of Universe.

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