Don't worry, that's not a monster in the depths of space. That odd, twisted and smeared light is just a product of a giant galaxy cluster with monstrous gravitational influence located some three billion light-years away.
Though the bright, light-speckled foreground galaxy in the lower left is eye-catching, it is far from the most intriguing object in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. In the upper part of the frame, the light from distant galaxies has been smeared and twisted into odd shapes, arcs and streaks. This phenomenon indicates the presence of a giant galaxy cluster, which is bending the light coming from the galaxies behind it with its monstrous gravitational influence.
This cluster, called SDSS J0150+2725, lies some three billion light-years away and was first documented by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), hence its name. The SDSS uses a 2.5-meter optical telescope located at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico to observe millions of objects and create detailed 3-D maps of the universe. This particular cluster was part of the Sloan Giant Arcs Survey (SGAS), which detected galaxy clusters with strong lensing properties; their gravity stretches and warps the light of more distant galaxies sitting behind them, creating weird and spectacular arcs such as those seen here.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt #nasagoddard #space #science #hubble #galaxy #monster #photooftheday