Hello There! A "Smiley Face" Galaxy Cluster And Other Hubble Photos

Hello There! A "Smiley Face" Galaxy Cluster And Other Hubble Photos

When you gaze into space, does space look back? Check out these Hubble Space Telescope photos!

A strange thing happens when you look into space for too long - sometimes space looks like it's looking back. And I'm not talking about alien races or the like, I mean actual extraterrestrial landscapes. That's why the "Face of Mars" looks like someone buried up to their neck on a beach, or why the Hubble Space Telescope found an entire galaxy cluster with a face. But don't worry, it's a rather cheerful cluster, so I think we're safe.

Galaxy clusters, for those not in the know, are one of the biggest structures in the entire universe. They're made up of hundreds or thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. One such galaxy, known as the Great Attractor is so utterly massive that it's actually effecting the local expansion of the Universe. So it's a good thing this happy cluster (called SDSS J1038+4849) seems to like us, or at least is amused by our presence.

Of course, SDSS J1038+4849 isn't actually smiling or sentient (as far as I know anyway). It's part of a phenomenon called pareidolia, where random stimulus can be perceived as something familiar or significant. On Earth, that's why people can see the Virgin Mary's face in toast. In space, that's why galaxies look like roses or dying stars look like butterflies. For this galaxy cluster, two very bright galaxies happen to form the eyes, while light bent from gravitational lensing looks like a smile.

SDSS J1038+4849 isn't a new discovery for science - in fact, a version of this image was submitted to Hubble's Hidden Treasures contest back in 2012. But this particular photograph is a great reminder of the amazing sights of our universe. Whether those sights seem friendly or cheerful is just a matter of interpretation.

For your enjoyment, here are more space images curated by the Hubble Space Telescope website.

Source: Hubble, via CNN

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Of course space is looking back. What do you think those swirly bits are when you look through a telescope? That's Earth being given the goatse treatment.

Space is unwashed and full of heathens.

What is actually making the "Smile" of the Smiley face Galaxy? It looks like it's water in space...

Oh come on now, we all know what it really is;

This article has one of the best collections of images I've seen.

Mr.Mattress:
What is actually making the "Smile" of the Smiley face Galaxy? It looks like it's water in space...

Article:
light bent from gravitational lensing looks like a smile.

Of course, I would like to hear more about this... It would be interesting to know what gravitational field is providing this lensing-effect. Of course, I am an idiot and I know very little about this sort of thing.

Ajarat:

Mr.Mattress:
What is actually making the "Smile" of the Smiley face Galaxy? It looks like it's water in space...

Article:
light bent from gravitational lensing looks like a smile.

Of course, I would like to hear more about this... It would be interesting to know what gravitational field is providing this lensing-effect. Of course, I am an idiot and I know very little about this sort of thing.

Most likely there is a non active black hole between us the galaxy. When black holes have nothing falling into them there is nothing to see.

albino boo:

Ajarat:

Mr.Mattress:
What is actually making the "Smile" of the Smiley face Galaxy? It looks like it's water in space...

Article:
light bent from gravitational lensing looks like a smile.

Of course, I would like to hear more about this... It would be interesting to know what gravitational field is providing this lensing-effect. Of course, I am an idiot and I know very little about this sort of thing.

Most likely there is a non active black hole between us the galaxy. When black holes have nothing falling into them there is nothing to see.

Intense gravity bends light at long distances though, no? That's usually how these things occur.

EDIT: I think anyway, off the back of my mind.

Ferisar:

albino boo:

Ajarat:

Of course, I would like to hear more about this... It would be interesting to know what gravitational field is providing this lensing-effect. Of course, I am an idiot and I know very little about this sort of thing.

Most likely there is a non active black hole between us the galaxy. When black holes have nothing falling into them there is nothing to see.

Intense gravity bends light at long distances though, no? That's usually how these things occur.

EDIT: I think anyway, off the back of my mind.

Ok there are several different forms of gravitational lensing. There is the strong lensing which is caused by black holes or galaxies bending light. There is weak lensing that is cuased by exoitc stuff like dark matter and finally there is microlensing caused by stars. The degree of bending is proportional to the amount of gravity involved .

Lightknight:
This article has one of the best collections of images I've seen.

Agreed. There's quite a lot of iconic Hubble images in there.

From among the images featured the gallery, the shot of the Sombrero Galaxy was always my favorite. There's just something grandiose and awe-inspiring about it. It feels ominous and wondrous at the same time. Far more so than with most images of other galaxies. At least for me, it does.

albino boo:

Ok there are several different forms of gravitational lensing. There is the strong lensing which is caused by black holes or galaxies bending light. There is weak lensing that is cuased by exoitc stuff like dark matter and finally there is microlensing caused by stars. The degree of bending is proportional to the amount of gravity involved .

I hate to use the common vernacular, but...

Ninja'd.

albino boo:
Ok there are several different forms of gravitational lensing. There is the strong lensing which is caused by black holes or galaxies bending light. There is weak lensing that is cuased by exoitc stuff like dark matter and finally there is microlensing caused by stars. The degree of bending is proportional to the amount of gravity involved .

That's what I was thinking, but felt I should ask rather than make a terrible mistake of assumption. Less embarrassing that way.. Thanks for the replies, everyone. A REAL BIG Thanks for not treating me like an ignoramus (even though it would have fit the bill.)

I'm of two minds of this.

The first?

"When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all"

second.

The universe just noticed us. And its first thought was "...Soon."

 

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