Illustration showing gravitational lensing producing four supern

This illustration shows how four different images of the same supernova were created when its light was distorted and magnified by the huge galaxy cluster MACS J1149+2223 in front 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. The massive galaxy cluster focuses the supernova light along at least three separate paths, and then when one of those light paths happens to be precisely aligned with a single elliptical galaxy within the cluster, a secondary lensing effect occurs. The dark matter associated with the elliptical galaxy bends and refocuses the light into four more paths, generating the rare Einstein cross pattern that the team observed.

By John Gideon Hartnett

Dr John G. Hartnett is an Australian physicist and cosmologist, and a Christian with a biblical creationist worldview. He received a B.Sc. (Hons) and Ph.D. (with distinction) in Physics from The University of Western Australia, W.A., Australia. He was an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award (DORA) fellow at the University of Adelaide, with rank of Associate Professor. Now he is retired. He has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, book chapters and conference proceedings.

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