Galaxy cluster MACS J1149.5+223 and a supernova four times over
This image shows the huge galaxy cluster MACS J1149+2223, whose light took over 5 billion years to reach us.
The huge mass of the cluster and one of the galaxies within it is bending the light from a supernova behind them and creating four separate images of it. The light has been magnified and distorted due to gravitational lensing and as a result the images are arranged around the elliptical galaxy in a formation known as an Einstein cross.
A close-up of the Einstein cross is shown in the inset.
Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Rodney (John Hopkins University, USA) and the FrontierSN team; T. Treu (University of California Los Angeles, USA), P. Kelly (University of California Berkeley, USA) and the GLASS team; J. Lotz (STScI) and the Frontier Fields team; M. Postman (STScI) and the CLASH team; and Z. Levay (STScI)