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Gravitational Lensing

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2019
  • A gravitational lens is a distribution of matter (such as a cluster of galaxies) between a distant light source and an observer that is capable of bending the light from the source as the light travels towards the observer. This effect is known as gravitational lensing.
  • Amount of bending is one of the predictions of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.
  • The phenomenon occurs when a huge amount of matter, such as a massive galaxy or cluster of galaxies, creates a gravitational field that distorts and magnifies the light from objects behind it, but in the same line of sight.
  • These large celestial objects will magnify the light from distant galaxies that are at or near the peak of star formation.
  • Gravitational lensing is useful to cosmologists because it is directly sensitive to the amount and distribution of dark matter.
  • Lensing can therefore help astronomers work out exactly how much dark matter there is in the Universe as a whole, and also how it is distributed.

       

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