Giant Galaxy Cluster Magnifies the Light from a Distant Supernova and Splits It into Multiple Images
People over the centuries haven’t been shy about making predictions about the future. But some of them should have kept their forecasts to themselves. The president of the Michigan Savings Bank, for example, predicted in 1903 that the horse would prevail as the standard mode of transportation. The car was just a fad, he said. Inventor Thomas Edison believed that all home furnishings in the 21st Century would be made of steel, including a baby’s cradle. And in 1946, movie producer Darryl Zanuck declared that the fledgling television medium wouldn’t last because no one wants to look at pictures in a wooden box.
Those forecasts may have fizzled, but there’s one prediction you can mark on your calendars. Around 2037 a replay of Supernova Requiem’s demise will appear in deep space.
The rebroadcast is courtesy of a giant galaxy cluster that resides in front of the faraway supernova, whose light traveled for 10 billion years across space to reach Earth. The massive cluster’s powerful gravity acts like an oversized celestial zoom lens, magnifying and distorting the light from the supernova and splitting it into multiple copies. Three mirror images of Supernova Requiem were spotted by the