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Hubble Telescope Captures Photo of a Cluster of Galaxies that Looks like a Giant Smiley Face

Hubble Telescope has captured yet another phenomenal photograph of space. And this time the galaxy is really happy about it.

NASA recently published a new photo of a cluster of galaxies arranged in the shape of a smiley face. The two bright orange spots that serve as the eyes are two different galaxies, SDSSCGB 8842.3 and SDSSCGB 8842.4. As for the smile, it’s actually an optical illusion caused by strong gravitational lensing. NASA explains this phenomena:

Massive structures in the Universe exert such a powerful gravitational pull that they can warp the spacetime around them and act as cosmic lenses which can magnify, distort and bend the light behind them… In this special case of gravitational lensing, a ring — known as an Einstein Ring — is produced from this bending of light.

A smiling lens

Hubble captured this image and provided astronomers with tools to probe further into these galaxies, model their lensing and peer further into space than ever before.

   
 
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