Science News

Einstein Cross: Astronomers Watch Supernova Explode Four Times

Albert Einstein Cross

The Hubble Space Telescope captured images confirming an aspect of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity known as the Einstein cross in which a supernova could be seen exploding four times.

Researchers measured the delays in between supernovas, which were actually one supernova being seen four times, in an attempt to enhance understanding of the supernova, the type of star it exploded from and about the phenomenon known as gravitational lenses.

Einstein’s cross entails a quasar positioned behind a lensing object in such a fashion that it splits the light traveling from the object towards the observer into four distinct, separate images.

This recent viewing of the four separate supernovas emanating from the same dying star marks the first time Albert Einstein’s cross has been observed by astronomers.

The supernova, which occurred behind a massive galaxy roughly 5 billion light-years away, was located 9.3 billion light-years from Earth, near the edge of the limits of our ability to observe the universe.

The phenomenon was first predicted more than 50 years ago by Einstein back in 1964.

It was spotted by Dr. Patrick Kelly of Berkeley via the Hubble Space Telescope which snapped photographs and infrared images of the event on November 10, 2014, The Register reported. A member of Kelly’s team, UC Berkeley professor of astronomy Alex Filippenko, was quoted by CNET as having said that the “wonderful discovery” is “really cool” and should provide a great deal of important astrophysical information.

The longer the path length, or the stronger the gravitational field through which the light moves, the greater the time delay […] It’s a wonderful discovery. We’ve been searching for a strongly lensed supernova for 50 years, and now we’ve found one. Besides being really cool, it should provide a lot of astrophysically important information.

The gravitational lens effect was first observed in 1979. The effect, from Earth, can magnify an object up to 100 times while distorting images of objects located behind a lens.

In other trending news coverage here on Immortal News related to the late German-born theoretical physicist and philosopher, a bunch of elementary school children in Berkeley, California, got together in an attempt to set a world record for the most Einstein-lookalikes.

What are your thoughts on the recent images captured by the Hubble Telescope depicting Einstein’s cross?

Click to comment
To Top

Hi - Get Important Content Like This Delivered Directly To You

Get important content and more delivered to you once or twice a week.

We don't want an impostor using your email address so please look for an email from us and click the link to confirm your email address.