Unusual radio source MG1131+0456: A possible Einstein ring

J. N. Hewitt, E. L. Turner, D. P. Schneider, B. F. Burke, G. I. Langston, C. R. Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report the discovery of extremely unusual structure in the radio source MG1131 + 0456. In a radio map with sub∼arc$econd resolution the object appears as an elliptical ring of emission accompanied by a pair of more compact sources, nearly diametrically opposed and offset ∼0.3 arc s to the south-west of the ring. There is a faint, slightly extended, optical counterpart. In its spectrum we detect a continuum but no emission lines; therefore the redshift of the counterpart is unknown. The radio morphology suggests that this source may be an example of an 'Einstein ring'1, a highly symmetric case of grayitational lensing in which the source is imaged into a ring. Other explanations that we consider are excluded by the data. Another possibility is that MG1131 +0456 represents a new type of (unlensed) astronomical object.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-540
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume333
Issue number6173
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General

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