This Cosmic Ring Photo Is the One to Rule Them All

April 8, 2015 1:53 PM

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This Cosmic Ring Photo Is the One to Rule Them All

A new image of an extremely distant galaxy looks like it was the inspiration for the "One Ring" in "The Hobbit," but it's actually the result of gravity bending the light into a circle.

The gravitationally lensed galaxy SDP.81, imaged by ALMA. The bright orange central region of the ring reveals the glowing dust in this distant galaxy. The surrounding, lower-resolution portions of the ring trace the millimeter-wavelength light emitted by carbon monoxide.

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