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GAIA - ESA space mission honours Einstein by observing Einstein Cross

Apr. 22, 2015

One of the products of the research developed by Alberto Krone-Martins (CENTRA/SIM) in the Gaia space mission is the detection and analysis of Quasars suffering gravitational lensing. This is an exciting phenomena in which the image of one Quasar appears in different parts of the sky, and it was predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity as a consequence of light bending in a warped space-time due to the presence of strong gravitational fields.

To honor Einstein during the International Year of Light 2015, ESA and the team working with such objects in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, including Dr. Krone-Martins, published two images showing very preliminary Gaia data for two well known gravitational lenses, HE0435-1223 and Q2237+030, the so called Einstein Cross.

Gaia preliminary measurements overplotted on HST images - Quasars under gravitational lensins

Gaia will enable not only the study of the few already known Quasars suffering from gravitational lensing, but will also enable the discovery of many lenses which were never seen before.

For more information: http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/iow_20150409