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Thanks to some gravitational sleight of hand, astronomers have obtained their sharpest view yet of individual star-making factories in a distant galaxy, 10 billion light-years from Earth. The study reveals that the concentration of new stars in these giant clouds of gas and dust is 100 times higher than that of similar regions in the Milky Way today.

Mark Swinbank of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University in England and his colleagues were able to home in on star birth regions only 300 light-years across because of a chance alignment with a massive cluster of nearer galaxies that lies along the same line of sight but much closer to Earth. Because heavy objects bend light, the massive foreground cluster acts like a telephoto lens, enlarging the more distant galaxy 16-fold. Swinbank and his collaborators report their findings in a Nature article posted online March 21.


That's an artists rendition, not the photograph.

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Updated with picture, and bump for those who missed it.
 

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That's cool as hell how the sheer mass of a galaxy can make a telephoto lens effect appear out of, quite literally, empty space.
 

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Gravitational lenses are sweet. Here's a schematic for those that don't get it.



EDIT: HOLY CRAP! I can't believe I never saw this, they've actual done some mapping of dark matter location (or at least a gravitational field from something) in space and have 3d recreations of it.

 

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That is a very cool visual.
 

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So we basically just caught what that galaxy looked like 10 billion years ago. That's like, twice as old as the earth is......

My money says that there's intelligent life there.
 

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Better yet, the stars were closer together, improving the odds of a multi-system civilization.
 

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Originally Posted by MrDeodorant
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Better yet, the stars were closer together, improving the odds of a multi-system civilization.

I wonder if they have cell phones.
 

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Originally Posted by Ihatethedukes View Post
Nah, telepathy rendered it obsolete.
The Men Who Stare At Space Cows
 

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I just jizzed when I saw this.
That picture looks f'ing neat.

I love just looking and pictures like those, and imagine what kind of lifeforms are living there
 

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Originally Posted by Ihatethedukes
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Gravitational lenses are sweet. Here's a schematic for those that don't get it.



I really need to find a place to get images like that in 2048x1536 or higher 4:3. I need a new wallpaper, want a space one, and tire of the Space Shuttle's engines.

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Originally Posted by Ihatethedukes
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Nah, telepathy rendered it obsolete.

Or maybe they plug their hair into it?



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Originally Posted by Manyak
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The Men Who Stare At Space Cows


And then crash into things.


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Originally Posted by MrDeodorant
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Speaking of gravitatonal lensing, there's an article on io9 about the founder of SETI saying aliens could be using gravitational lensing to send ultra-long-range messages.

I wonder if Man will ever figure out how to do that...
 

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Originally Posted by Manyak
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So we basically just caught what that galaxy looked like 10 billion years ago. That's like, twice as old as the earth is......

My money says that there's intelligent life there.

Twice as old as earth huh?
I wish there was a way of knowing what was there now. Call me crazy but I believe we are not alone in the universe and I feel like there's so much more to discover. I wish I could live long enough to see a lot of it. Imagine the discovery of such an advanced society with contact lenses with built in processors fast enough to render entire galaxies in better then life like graphics with super realistic AI all while eating sliced bread. Yes, this advanced civilization should have sliced bread. It's the only invention I see no reason to get rid of 5 billion years from now.
 

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Originally Posted by Tempest001
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Twice as old as earth huh?
I wish there was a way of knowing what was there now. Call me crazy but I believe we are not alone in the universe and I feel like there's so much more to discover. I wish I could live long enough to see a lot of it. Imagine the discovery of such an advanced society with contact lenses with built in processors fast enough to render entire galaxies in better then life like graphics with super realistic AI all while eating sliced bread. Yes, this advanced civilization should have sliced bread. It's the only invention I see no reason to get rid of 5 billion years from now.

Don't forget the peanut butter!
 

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This is what I've always thought. If we are here, living, on this planet, then there is a 100% chance that there is life elsewhere. If life occurred here on Earth, its a guarantee that it has occurred elsewhere in the universe, especially considering how incomprehensibly large the universe is.
 

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Originally Posted by F1ForFrags View Post
This is what I've always thought. If we are here, living, on this planet, then there is a 100% chance that there is life elsewhere. If life occurred here on Earth, its a guarantee that it has occurred elsewhere in the universe, especially considering how incomprehensibly large the universe is.
QFT
People don't seem to grasp this.
 
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