|All Hail Galacto!|
This is not a stellar smiley emoticon. Curse my human brain for seeing a face and ascribing to it a personality and an origin story and magical powers and a character arc.
|Paradolia: easily my favourite cognitive distortion|
It is, of course, an exquisite example of gravitational lensing. The phenomenon behaves like a natural telescope where instead of a glass lens bending light and magnifying an image, light is bent and magnified by the gravity from galaxy clusters and dark matter.
This effect is a consequence of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity and was predicted in around 1937. It wasn’t, however, confirmed by observation until 1979, long after Einstein’s death.