The Hubble Space Telescope Captures an Image Using Gravitational Lensing to See the Same Supernova in Four Places

hubble image of four supernova

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of the same supernova in four different locations thanks to a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing. Light from the exploding star is being bent by the gravity of a massive galaxy cluster, allowing the Hubble to see behind it. The image was processed by a team that included the Grism Lens-Amplified Survey from Space (GLASS), an organization that uses Hubble data to search for distant supernovae.

The supernova and gravitational lensing were the subject of a recent episode of the New York Times series Out There that explained the phenomenon to put the Hubble image into context.

A similar image known as the Einstein Cross shows a gravitationally lensed quasar behind a galaxy known as Huchra’s lens.

einstein cross supernova

images via Hubble Space Telescope, GLASS

via ExtremeTech, Astronomy Now, PetaPixel