“Clones” in space: explained the enigma of the three identical galaxies

The triplet had been discovered by chance by an astronomer in 2013 thanks to the Hubble telescope. It is actually a single galaxy whose image was multiplied by dark matter.

The strange case of the three perfectly identical galaxies in space has finally been explained: it is actually the same galaxy, whose image was multiplied by dark matter. The triplet had been discovered by chance in 2013 by astronomer Timothy Hamilton of Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio. While analyzing data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Hamilton found two identical galaxies, one the mirror image of the other, to which a third was later added. Now, after eight years of study and comparisons with other colleagues, the University of Portsmouth scientist has identified that the light from the same galaxy has been distorted by a large cluster of dark matter, creating an effect known as gravitational lensing.

The riddle of the three identical galaxies

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope had discovered two images of two apparently identical cosmic objects and, later, of a third nearby. The images appeared to be mirror photographs of the same galaxy, which has now been shown to be possible. The three photos would all belong to the same galaxy, 11 billion light years away. The study was published in the journal Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society. The phenomenon would depend on the action of gravity on spacetime, which creates the illusory phenomenon of gravitational lensing.

What object produced the gravitational lensing effect

The researchers' problem was figuring out what object was responsible for the gravitational lensing effect. Using the telescope in the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii it would be observed that the galaxy would have a spiral shape with a rich but uneven star formation. The object would be 7 billion light years away.

According to Richard Griffiths, of the University of Hilo in Hawaii who collaborated in the study with Hamilton, this gravitational lensing is very different from most of the lensing that has been studied previously by the Hubble Telescope. In order to better understand the phenomenon, software was used to understand the environment in which the galaxy is located with the image multiplied by the lens. The result of the study is of particular interest in order to unravel the enigmas of the cosmos and dark matter. In fact, by exploiting the knowledge of the different phenomena created by gravitational lensing, it is possible to study the large-scale structure of the Universe and create increasingly detailed models.

The mysteries of the universe are still countless and the most recent research has speculated that it may have the shape of a large three-dimensional doughnut and may be a large artificial intelligence.