As the Perseverance rover lands on Mars, there's a lot we already know about Mars from meteorites found on Earth
NASA news: Distant galaxy curving a star observed by the Hubble Space Telescope
Galaxies are made up of almost an infinite number of stars, and NASA and ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope has been observing these during their journey through space. The telescope has snapped a distant galaxy that appears to be curving around a star, making it look like a “molten ring.”
The Hubble took photos of a distant galaxy known as GAL-CLUS-022058s, and in the images released by NASA, the galaxy appears to be curving around a massive star. This is what the agency describes as a “molten ring” or formally, the Einstein ring, and according to NASA, is also a rare occurrence. The curving of the galaxy is caused by a process called gravitational lensing. This is when an object in space is large enough, its gravitational field would be very intense to the extent that its mass can warp the fabric of space and cause light to bend. The process is similar to the use of a magnifying glass.
Albert Einstein first theorized gravitational lensing as part of his general theory of relativity. Thus, the Einstein ring is named after the famed scientist. In this case with GAL-CLUS-022058s, NASA referred to it as a “molten ring” because of its fiery appearance.
“In this case, the light from the background galaxy has been distorted into the curve we see by the gravity of the galaxy cluster sitting in front of it,” said the agency. “The near exact alignment of the background galaxy with the central elliptical galaxy of the cluster, seen in the middle of this image, has warped and magnified the image of the background galaxy into an almost perfect ring.”
Aside from distant galaxies, NASA has also observed a comet that was hurtling towards the Sun as parts of our planet were able to experience a solar eclipse. A few weeks ago on December 14, residents of Argentina and Chile were able to experience a solar eclipse, when the moon covered the sun. As this happened, a small comet was traveling towards our host star and NASA has referred to the object as C/2020 X3 and was first observed by Thailand-based amateur astronomer Worachate Boonplod.