- The astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to image the monstrous galaxy SDP.81, located 11.7 billion light-years away from the Earth in the constellation Hydra.
- The giant galaxy is an excellent example of an Einstein ring. The light travelling through this curved space-time bends to follow the curve, thus the massive object works as a cosmic lens. In the rare case that a distant galaxy, an intervening galaxy producing a gravitational lens, and the Earth line up perfectly, the image forms a circle of light known as an Einstein ring.
- The clouds in SDP.81 have sizes similar to those found in our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. This is the first time astronomers have been able to reveal the inner structure of such a distant galaxy. The model also indicates the existence of a supermassive black hole, over 300 million times more massive than the Sun, at the centre of the foreground galaxy.
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