A distant galaxy has been seen revolving around a giant star, which NASA is describing as a “molten ring”, known as the Einstein Ring. The object in question has been described by the space agency as a “very rare occurrence”. The Hubble Space Telescope managed to snap the object, which bears the catchy name of GAL-CLUS-022058.
According to NASA, the image shows a distant galaxy rotating around a cluster galaxy.
It is caused by a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing.
If an object in space is sufficiently large, such as the Sun, its gravitational field will be so intense that its mass can warp the fabric of space – space-time – and bend light.
It works in a similar way to a magnifying glass, for example, which bends light through the lens, making an object appear closer.
Gravitational lensing was first classified by Albert Einstein in his general theory of relativity.
Due to its fierce presence, NASA has dubbed it a “molten ring”.
The space agency said: “In this case, the light from the background galaxy is distorted into a curve that we observe from the gravity of the galaxy cluster.
“The precise alignment of the background galaxy with the central elliptical galaxy of the cluster seen in the middle of this image, has transformed the image of the deformed galaxy galaxy into an almost full ring.
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JWST is so powerful that it can provide an insight into the early universe, only 0.3 billion years after the Big Bang when visible light began to form on its own.
JWST will also play a major role in hunting for extraterrestrials.
This is because the telescope has the ability to scan thousands of planets for alien life in search of biosignatures in a planet’s atmosphere.
NASA has stated: “The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes referred to as JWST or Webb) is a orbiting infrared observatory that will complement and extend the discoveries of the Hubble Space Telescope, including wavelength coverage and greatly improved Sensitivity.
“Long wavelengths enable the web to look very close to the beginning of time and hunt for the inaccessible formation of the first galaxies, as well as to look inside the dust clouds where stars and planetary systems are forming today.”