Hubble Captures a Five-time Lensed Quasar
Date: 23 May 2006
Satellite: Hubble Space Telescope
Depicts: Quasar lensed by galaxy cluster SDSS J1004+4112
Copyright: European Space Agency, NASA, Keren Sharon (Tel-Aviv University) and Eran Ofek (CalTech)
This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is the first-ever picture of a distant quasar lensed into five images. The group of five quasar images is produced by gravitational lensing, a process in which the gravitational field of a massive object - in this case the cluster of galaxies SDSS J1004+4112 - bends and amplifies light from an object farther behind it.
Although other multiply lensed quasars have been seen before, for instance in the object known as the Einstein Cross, this newly observed quintuple quasar is the only case so far in which multiple quasar images are produced by an entire galaxy cluster acting as the gravitational lens.
Last Update: 1 September 2019