Week in Geek - Hiding in the light
My weekly post for The Rachel Maddow Show.
Week in Geek: Hiding in the light edition.
This may look like the a poor recreation of the Eye of Sauron, but it’s actually a gravitational lens of one galaxy warping the light from another.
Back in 2014, astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile discovered this lensing system, dubbed SDP.81. Gravitational lenses are a prediction of Einstein’s theory of general relativity that describes gravity as a space-time continuum - light traveling through space from a distant galaxy can be “bent” if it passes too close to a massive galaxy or galaxy cluster. When this happens along our line of sight, we see the closer galaxy surrounding by false imaged of the more distant galaxy. The shape and distribution of the false images depends on the mass of the closer galaxy (or galaxies).
Also includes: butterfly migration, an escaping octopus, golf, and the physics of mixed nuts.
Read the full article here.