publication 19-July-2018 19:25:25

Multiple images of a highly magnified supernova formed by an early-type cluster galaxy lens

Publication date: 06 March 2015

Authors: Kelly, P.L., et al.

Journal: Science
Volume: 347
Issue: 6226
Page: 1123-1126
Year: 2015

Copyright: AAAS

In 1964, Refsdal hypothesized that a supernova whose light traversed multiple paths around a strong gravitational lens could be used to measure the rate of cosmic expansion. We report the discovery of such a system. In Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we have found four images of a single supernova forming an Einstein cross configuration around a redshift z = 0.54 elliptical galaxy in the MACS J1149.6+2223 cluster. The cluster's gravitational potential also creates multiple images of the z = 1.49 spiral supernova host galaxy, and a future appearance of the supernova elsewhere in the cluster field is expected. The magnifications and staggered arrivals of the supernova images probe the cosmic expansion rate, as well as the distribution of matter in the galaxy and cluster lenses.

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Last Update: 10 March 2015

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