ESO’s Very Giant Telescope Spots Uncommon Einstein Cross


Gravitational lensing supplies distinctive insights into astrophysics and cosmology. Utilizing ESO’s Very Giant Telescope, astronomers have found a brand new robust lensing system, DESI-253.2534+26.8843. This method consists of a large elliptical galaxy surrounded by 4 blue photographs forming a uncommon Einstein Cross sample.

DESI-253.2534+26.884. Image credit: ESO / Cikota et al.

DESI-253.2534+26.884. Picture credit score: ESO / Cikota et al.

Robust gravitational lensing happens when a large object warps spacetime and causes the trail of sunshine from a well-aligned distant supply to bend, usually leading to a number of photographs.

These programs are a strong device for astrophysics and cosmology.

They’ve been used to check how darkish matter is distributed in galaxies and clusters.

When the alignment is almost excellent and the lens mass has an elliptical distribution, the background supply would seem as quadruply lensed.

These programs are prized as they supply the strongest constraint on the lens mass distribution.

One particular instance of quadruply lensed system is the Einstein Cross, the place 4 distinct photographs of the background supply type a cross-like sample with a excessive diploma of symmetry.

The robust gravitational lens system DESI-253.2534+26.884 was found within the DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys information utilizing neural networks.

“The 4 ‘petals’ in DESI-253.2534+26.884 are photographs of a distant galaxy hidden behind the orange galaxy on the middle,” stated Gemini Observatory astronomer Aleksandar Cikota and colleagues.

“One thing very fascinating occurs to permit us to detect the sunshine from this hidden object: the galaxy on the middle acts as a gravitational lens, bending the sunshine emitted from the distant galaxy round it.”

“Consequently, we see a number of photographs of the distant galaxy, distorted and magnified.”

“Within the particular configuration of those two galaxies, the hidden one seems as 4 photographs across the central ‘lens’ galaxy, forming a cross-like (or flower-like) sample dubbed an Einstein Cross.”

“Gravitational lensing thus permits us to find hidden galaxies that might be in any other case invisible to us.”

DESI-253.2534+26.884 (center). Image credit: ESO / Cikota et al.

DESI-253.2534+26.884 (middle). Picture credit score: ESO / Cikota et al.

The astronomers noticed DESI-253.2534+26.884 in Could 2023 with the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE), mounted at UT4 of ESO’s Very Giant Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal in Chile.

“MUSE splits the sunshine coming from each level inside the space being noticed right into a rainbow or spectrum, which supplies us with a wealth of details about the objects inside the area of view,” they defined.

“Our outcomes present that the distant galaxy is forming stars at a speedy fee.”

“Since gentle left the galaxy when the Universe was about 20% of its present age, learning it supplies clues about how galaxies fashioned within the early Universe.”

The outcomes seem within the Astrophysical Journal Letters.


Aleksandar Cikota et al. 2023. DESI-253.2534+26.8843: A New Einstein Cross Spectroscopically Confirmed with Very Giant Telescope/MUSE and Modeled with GIGA-Lens. ApJL 953, L5; doi: 10.3847/2041-8213/ace9da



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