HomeAstronomy'Cosmic magnifying glass' reveals super-rare warped supernova

‘Cosmic magnifying glass’ reveals super-rare warped supernova

The gravity of a distant galaxy warped space and magnified the light of a faraway supernova, potentially revealing tantalizing details about stellar explosions, as well as an unseen population of galaxies and the expansion of the universe.

The galaxy appears very faint to us and not particularly large, but its mass — a combination of its stars, gas and its invisible halo of dark matter — warps space into a gravitational lens, a sort of cosmic magnifying glass. As the light from the supernova passed by the galaxy, the lens magnified the light by as much as 25 times, and split the supernova into four images as the light took four different paths following the contours of the warped space.

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