<p>A galaxy cluster appears to flash a smile at Earth in a <a href="http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/spaceimages/details.php?id=pia18794">newly released image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">The eyes in this cosmic smiley face are actually very bright galaxies—technically known as SDSS J1038+4849—while the smile lines are arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing. (<a href="http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/photos/galaxies-gallery/">See more galaxy pictures</a>.)</p><p dir="ltr">When cosmic objects align with one right in front of the other, the foreground object's gravity can act as a lens, warping and magnifying the background object's light.</p><p><em>—Photo gallery by Mallory Benedict</em></p>

Space Smiley Face

A galaxy cluster appears to flash a smile at Earth in a newly released image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

The eyes in this cosmic smiley face are actually very bright galaxies—technically known as SDSS J1038+4849—while the smile lines are arcs caused by an effect known as strong gravitational lensing. (See more galaxy pictures.)

When cosmic objects align with one right in front of the other, the foreground object's gravity can act as a lens, warping and magnifying the background object's light.

—Photo gallery by Mallory Benedict

Photograph by NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech

Week's Best Space Pictures: Space Smiley Face, Mercury Megacrater

A star smiley face seems to form a cosmic grin, a Space X rocket launches, and a giant iceberg breaks free in Antarctica in this week's roundup of space photos.

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