Six different images from the Hubble Space Telescope have been magnified by a cosmic effect called gravitational lensing. The images were taken in infrared light by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3. Color has been added to highlight details in the galaxies. Credit: NASA/ESA/J. Lowenthal (Smith College)

Topics: Astronomy, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Gravitational Lensing, NASA, Space

A glittering jackpot of ultrabright galaxies bursting with star formation has been revealed in a series of stunning images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

The galaxies captured in these images sparkle like jewels of cosmic light. These massive collections of stars are each as much as 10,000 times more luminous than the Milky Way in the infrared range, or 10 trillion to 100 trillion times the brightness of the sun. They are also forming about 10,000 new stars each year, according to a statement from NASA. (By comparison, it is estimated that fewer than 10 stars form in the Milky Way each year.)

Viewers may also notice strange shapes, including rings and arcs of light. Those are mostly the result of a cosmic phenomenon known as gravitational lensing, in which a foreground galaxy acts as a lens, warping and magnifying the light from a more distant galaxy.

This lensing has magnified the light from these very distant galaxies, giving scientists the opportunity to study in them in much finer detail than would be otherwise possible.

Hubble Hits Jackpot: Images Capture Ultrabright Galaxies via Cosmic..., Calla Cofield, Space.com

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