“Caught in the act”1 reads the news headline for the first-ever observation of a predicted exploding star. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured the image of the first-ever predicted supernova as shown in the image below (bottom right), compared against an image from months earlier (top right). The reappearance of the Refsdal supernova was calculated from different models of the galaxy cluster whose immense gravity is warping the supernova’s light.
— a problem for the biblical creationist model?
In March 2015 it was reported that “[a]stronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have, for the first time, spotted four images of a distant exploding star. The images are arranged in a cross-shaped pattern by the powerful gravity of a foreground galaxy embedded in a massive cluster of galaxies.”1 See galaxy in inset in Fig. 1, which has been enlarged in Fig. 2.
Astronomers were looking at a massive elliptical galaxy (Fig .2) and its associated galaxy cluster MACS J1149+2223 (Fig. 1), which is supposedly at a distance in the universe such that the light from the galaxy should take more than 5 billion years to reach Earth. They then found something that has never been seen before. The huge mass of the elliptical galaxy and the cluster is believed to bend the light from a much more distant galaxy where a supernova was occurring. The image of the supernova then is seen as an Einstein cross made from 4 separate images of the same supernova, heic1505, also named Refsdal. In Fig. 1 arrows indicate the 4 images. Fig. 1. shows a wide view of the cluster and the elliptical galaxy with the alleged identical 4 supernova images around it.
Gravitational lensing is a prediction of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. It describes the situation where a foreground galaxy (or cluster of galaxies) acts like a light lens and focuses the light of a more distant background galaxy and hence magnifies it like a normal lens would do. According to the theory the lens distorts the galaxy image often looking like a cross or a ring around the closer “lensing” galaxy.
Several earth-based radio and optical telescopes and the Herschel Space Observatory were used to image an object. Shown here, in Fig. 1, is where a gravitational lens is claimed to image a very distant galaxy that is apparently still in early formation.