Photo: NASA/ESA/E. Rivera-Thorsen

Sometimes our deepest views of the universe are the most indirect.

The intrigue: This photo, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows a galaxy about 11 billion light-years away whose image has been distorted and magnified by a massive galaxy cluster 4.6 billion light-years away.

  • The cluster has bent the light of the more distant galaxy, known as the Sunburst Arc, around it, allowing scientists to see it in a way they couldn't have otherwise.
  • That warping — called gravitational lensing — has created "12 images of the background galaxy, distributed over four major arcs," seen in this photo, according to NASA.

What they're saying: "The magnification allows Hubble to view structures as small as 520 light-years across that would be too small to see without the turboboost from the lensing effect," NASA said in a statement.

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Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.

Federal judge blocks DOJ from defending Trump in Carroll rape defamation case

E. Jean Carroll in Warwick, New York. Photo: Eva Deitch for The Washington Post via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the Justice Department's attempted intervention on behalf of President Trump in writer E. Jean Carroll's defamation lawsuit against him, after she accused him of raping her in a dressing room in the mid-1990s.

Catch up quick: The agency argued that Trump was "acting within the scope of his office" as president when he said in 2019 that Carroll was "lying" about her claim.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.
  7. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.