NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope recently captured a narrow galaxy elegantly curved around its spherical companion. Known as GAL-CLUS-022058, the object is the largest and one of the complete Einstein rings ever discovered in our universe.
Due to its appearance and host constellation, this Einstein ring is nicknamed as ‘Molten Ring’- located in the southern hemisphere constellation of Fornax (the Furnace).
The process called gravitational lensing can explain the object’s unusual shape. The gravitational lensing causes light shining from far away to be bent and pulled by an object’s gravity between its source and the observer.
In this case, the light from the background galaxy has been distorted into the curve we see by the galaxy cluster’s gravity sitting in front of it. The near exact alignment of the background galaxy with the central elliptical galaxy of the cluster, seen in the middle of this image, has warped and magnified the background galaxy’s idea into an almost perfect ring. The gravity from other galaxies in the cluster causes additional distortions.