Astronomers turn back time to solve Einstein ring mystery

Examples of Einstein ring gravitational lenses, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.  (Image credit: NASA/ESA/SLACS Survey Team: A. Bolton (Harvard/Smithsonian), S. Burles (MIT), L. Koopmans (Kapteyn), T.Treu (UCSB), L. Moustakas (JPL/Caltech))

Astronomers time traveled through archives of data to spot an object that made history in the 1980s and solve a long-standing cosmic mystery. 

While practicing socially distant science, a group of researchers dug through old data from Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory managed to spot a remarkable quasar, or an active galaxy emitting incredible amounts of light. 

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