‘Put a ‘Molten Ring’ on it!’ says NASA while sharing picture of gravitational lensing
If you like listening to Beyoncé’s songs and or identify as a member of the ‘beyhive’, then you may have heard the 2008 hit track by the musician titled Single Ladies. A famous line from the said song, “If you liked it then you shoulda put a ring on it,” has since become super popular, and now even NASA has used a version of it to describe a fascinating celestial phenomenon. The picture of the occurrence may stun you.
The official Instagram account for NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shared this image on December 18. The caption posted alongside the photograph explains what it shows. It reads, “Put a ‘Molten Ring’ on it! The curving features in this #HubbleFriday image of GAL-CLUS-022058s (nicknamed the ‘Molten Ring’ by astronomers) are great examples of gravitational lensing, which causes light shining from far away to be bent and magnified by the gravity of an object between the light source and the observer. This ring is located in the southern hemisphere constellation of Fornax”.
According to an official blog post by NASA, gravitational lensing was first theorized by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity.
In the case of the ‘Molten Ring’, the light from the background galaxy has been distorted into a curve by the gravitational force of the galaxy cluster that is in front of it. The near-perfect ring shape is formed by the almost exact alignment of the background galaxy with the central elliptical galaxy of the cluster, in the centre of this image, which warps and magnifies the picture of the background galaxy. Additional distortion is caused by the gravitational pull of the other galaxies in the cluster.
Check out the post here:
Since being shared on the photo and video sharing platform, this post has accumulated over 68,300 likes and many comments from netizens.
Here is what Instagram users had to say about the share. One person said, “Whatever it is, it is impressive”.
Another individual wrote, “Absolutely amazing”. “So pretty!” read one comment under the share.
What are your thoughts on the share?