View Full Version : Abell 370, then and now, gravitational lens

2009-Sep-29, 10:43 AM
On sept. 21 2009 the Astronomy Picture Of the Day (http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap090921.html) was a magnificent image from Hubble's new SM4 camera, showing a gravitationally lensed galaxy in stunning detail. The first link in the description points to a review paper (http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Mellier/Mellier_contents.html) "ARC(LET)S IN CLUSTERS OF GALAXIES" by Bernard Fort and Yannick Mellier, I think from 1994.

I just read the introduction section, and found it to be a very readable, and very interesting description of the history of our understanding of these objects. Can't wait to read the rest. Also a great example of how seemingly unconnected discoveries can help answer other questions. Compare this image (http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Mellier/Figures/fig1.gif) to the one on APOD. It's probably old news to anyone in astronomy, but maybe worth a look for those who, like me, have only a rudimentary understanding of how this works. The new images are stunning, but having a sense of the history (of only 20 years!) makes them even more so. To me, anyway. Thanks, APOD people.

2009-Sep-29, 10:57 AM
I downloaded that Abell 370 image and set it as my background as soon as those images came out. It's just awesome!