Once again, Hubble peers back in time. This time, it captures an ancient galaxy cluster in deep, deep space, collectively called SPT0615.
The South Pole Telescope discovered SPT0615 less than a decade ago. One of them was born over 13 billion years ago, soon after the Big Bang occurred.
“The light from distant objects travels to us from so far away that it takes an immensely long time to reach us, meaning that it carries information from the past — information about the time at which it was emitted,” NASA wrote.
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This massive cluster of galaxies is one of the farthest observed to cause gravitational lensing, which occurs when light from a background object is deflected around mass between the object and the observer.
Albert Einstein predicted in his theory of general relativity that massive objects deform the fabric of space itself.
However, the gravitational lensing is only visible in rare cases and only the best telescopes can observe these phenomena.
This embryonic galaxy only weighs around 3 billion solar masses. That’s roughly one-hundredth the mass of the Milky Way galaxy.
“Just as ancient paintings can tell us about the period of history in which they were painted, so too can ancient galaxies tell us about the era of the universe in which they existed,” NASA wrote.