Gravitational lensing, artwork

Gravitational lensing, artwork

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Credit: MIKKEL JUUL JENSEN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Gravitational lensing, artwork. Diagram showing how light rays (yellow line) from a distant object (here, a galaxy, upper left) are bent as they pass through the gravitational field of a star (centre) or other massive object. The light is deflected from its original path (dotted line). This bending of light by a massive object was predicted by Einstein in 1916 in his General theory of Relativity. The light from a distant object can be lensed into a variety of shapes and forms, including arcs, multiple images, or an 'Einstein ring'. The grey grid, dimpled below the star, represents space-time. In Einstein's theory, gravity is the warping of space-time by mass.

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