Andromedas Parachute (Gravitation lens)

 Observation from Germerswang/Germany, 12th November 2018

Th. Boeckel           



Newton 800mm 8", f4,5, 10sec, ASA 3200, Canon 5DMIII

Newton 1900mm 12,7", f.6, 9sec, ASA 3200, Canon 5DMIII


Newton 1900mm (Ausschnitt x20)  12,7";   f.6;  Exp 9sec ;  ASA 3200, Canon 5DMIII

What is Andromeda's Parachute?

It is a quad lensed quasar* (mag * 14/18) in the constellation Andromeda. The cause of the quadruple projection is a gravitational lens which stands between us and the light source and accordingly redirects or divides the light beam of the object by the strength of the gravitational force of the lens. The cause of this phenomenon is a far-off mass-rich object in space, a galaxy or a black hole. This object was first discovered in June 2017 by the PanSTARRS telescope / 1.8m in Hawaii. This object is similar in principle to the Einstein Cross but is unique in its appearance. The object is about 3 seconds of arc and is damn tiny, comes to scale of a 1 Euro coin (ca. 2cm) seen from a range of 1.5 km. Depending on the seeing or quality of your optics this "parachute" can be separated into three adjacent quasars or light points. The fourth projection should be below the arc (sketch map). So this is truly an invitation to test your quality of optics. From the photographic point of view, somedays it will maybe succeed to work out the complete resolution of three / four projections. I'll stay tuned!

Quasar*  rough  explained, active core of a galaxy which appear like a bright star.

*mag  = > light magnitude. Up to apprx. mag 4-5 stars are visible  in the city with the naked eye, in very dark areas to mag 6. --> The more high numerical value is given, the more weak are the objects.


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 ©2019 photos& text by Thorsten Boeckel (tb)

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