‘Cosmic magnifying glass’ reveals very rare gravitationally lensed deformed supernova. (Thanks Einstein!)

By | June 13, 2023

The gravity of a distant galaxy warped space and amplified the light of a distant supernova, potentially revealing tantalizing details about stellar explosions, as well as an invisible population of galaxies and the expansion of the universe.

The galaxy appears very faint and not particularly large to us, but its mass – a combination of its stars, gas and its invisible halo of dark matter – deforms the space in a gravitational lens, a kind of cosmic magnifying glass. As the light from the supernova passed through the galaxy, the lens magnified the light up to 25 times and split the supernova into four images as the light took four different paths following the contours of the warped space.

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