Hubble snapped a photo of a curved galaxy that looks like a molten ring

The image seen below was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and is of a galaxy cluster called GAL-CLUS-022058s. It's located in the southern hemisphere constellation of Fornax. It's the largest, and one of the most complete, Einstein rings ever discovered in the universe. It has been nicknamed the "Molten Ring."Einstein rings were first theorized to exist by Albert Einstein in the general theory of relativity. The unusual shape is explained by a process called gravitational lensing. Gravitational lensing causes light shining from far away to be bent and pulled by the gravity of an object between the source and the observer.

In the case of GAL-CLUS-022058s, light from the background galaxy is distorted into a curve we see by the gravity of the galaxy cluster in front of it. The background galaxy is almost perfectly aligned with the cluster's central elliptical galaxy seen in the middle of the image. That alignment warped and magnified the image of the background galaxy into a near-perfect ring.

Gravity from other galaxies in the cluster also causes additional distortions. Scientists say that objects such as GAL-CLUS-022058s are "ideal laboratories" to use to study galaxies that are often too faint and at too great a distance to be seen. Gravitational lensing allows researchers to view these distant galaxies.

The Hubble Space Telescope allows scientists all around the world to image some incredible sites in the universe. Recently NASA published a series of images captured by the Hubble to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The images showcased a total of 30 galaxies found in the celestial backyard of Earth. Each of these galaxies can be viewed using telescopes in the backyard by amateur astronomers. Hubble was also recently used to determine the orbit of a distant exoplanet.