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Gravitational lensing demonstration

K002/7422

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Credit

M. KORNMESSER / LARS LINDBERG CHRISTENSEN / ESA / HUBBLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY M. KORNMESSER / LARS LINDBERG CHRISTENSEN / ESA / HUBBLE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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This clip may not be used by or to promote the arms, nuclear power or tobacco industries or any religious organisation, or in any discriminatory way, or to imply the endorsement by ESO of any product, service or activity.

Caption

Animation explaining the effect of gravitational lensing, in which the image of a distant object is distorted by the gravitational field of an object in front of it. Initially, a distant galaxy is at left, and the Earth at right. Diverging light rays from the galaxy are shown in white. If a massive object is placed in the middle, relativity predicts that the light will be bent towards the mass, in effect focussing it on Earth like a converging lens. Different arrangements produce slightly different effects. A single large mass can produce a ring with a bright central spot (an Einstein ring, orange), or multiple images forming a cross (an Einstein cross, blue). When the lensing object is a massive cluster of galaxies, images of the more distant galaxy are likely to be smeared into thin irregular arcs.

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Downloadable Master

  • Duration: 00:00:40
  • Audio: No
  • Format: Photo - JPEG

Original

  • Capture Format: QuickTime Animation
  • Codec: DV - PAL
  • Interlaced: Yes
  • Frame Size: 720 x 576

Contact us if you require the original or other formats.

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