The Hubble Space Telescope Captures a Smiley Face Galaxy Cluster Thanks to Strong Gravitational Lensing

Smiley Face Galaxy Cluster

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured what appears to be a smiling galaxy cluster thanks to an effect known as strong gravitational lensing. The effect is caused by the intense gravitational force of the galaxy cluster at the center of the image bending light and space time around it, creating what is known as an Einstein ring that makes up the outer circle and smirking grin of the apparent face.

The image was processed by Judy Schmidt and entered into the Hubble Hidden Treasures image processing competition.

image via Judy Schmidt, NASA/ESA

via The Washington Post