N1VUX is my FCC-issued ham radio callsign.
The Discovery of the First "Einstein Ring" Gravitational Lens (VLA History) was in 1979, and only a few are known, with only a few of those being "optical".
(For the record, Einstein's observation that Rings were theoretically possibe was not in the Miracle Year, and he discounted the possibility of ever observing one.)
Abstract [click thru for PS and PDF of full preprint]
We report the discovery of a partial Einstein ring of radius 1.48arcsec produced by a massive (and seemingly isolated) elliptical galaxy. The spectroscopic follow-up at the VLT reveals a 2L* galaxy at z=0.986, which is lensing a post-starburst galaxy at z=3.773. This unique configuration yields a very precise measure of the mass of the lens within the Einstein radius, (8.3e11 +- 0.4)/h70 Msolar. The fundamental plane relation indicates an evolution rate of d [log (M/L)B] / dz = -0.57+-0.04, similar to other massive ellipticals at this redshift. The source galaxy shows strong interstellar absorption lines indicative of large gas-phase metallicities, with fading stellar populations after a burst. Higher resolution spectra and imaging will allow the detailed study of an unbiased representative of the galaxy population when the universe was just 12% of its current age.