Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

Latest Gravitational lensing Stories

2009-06-14 11:40:00

Astronomers have reason to believe that they have witnessed signs of the first planet to be spotted outside of our galaxy. The planet is located in the Andromeda galaxy and is estimated to have a mass six times that of Jupiter. The method of viewing this newly discovered planet is through gravitational lensing, where the light from a very distant, bright source is "bent" around a massive object between the source object and the observer. The team that utilized a type of gravitational...

2009-01-29 09:05:00

Variations in the brightness of the Q0957+561 quasar, also known as the "twin quasar" due to its duplicated image on Earth, are intrinsic to the entity itself and not caused by the gravitational effects of possible planets or stars from a far away galaxy. This is the conclusion of a study carried out by Spanish researchers resolving a mystery that has intrigued astronomers for the past 30 years. The quasar Q0957+561, some 9 billion light years away in the Ursa Major constellation, was...

2009-01-14 15:50:41

Two independent groups have simultaneously made the first-ever ground-based detection of extrasolar planets thermal emissions. Until now, virtually everything known about atmospheres of planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way has come from space-based observations. These new results, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics, open a new frontier to studying these alien worlds and are especially critical because the major space-based workhorse to these studies, the Spitzer...

2008-12-12 09:58:01

Combining a double natural "magnifying glass" with the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have scrutinized the inner parts of the disc around a supermassive black hole 10 billion light-years away. They were able to study the disc with a level of detail a thousand times better than that of the best telescopes in the world, providing the first observational confirmation of the prevalent theoretical models of such discs. The team of astronomers from Europe and the US studied...

2008-12-04 08:00:00

Three undergraduate students, from Leiden University in the Netherlands, have discovered an extrasolar planet. The extraordinary find, which turned up during their research project, is about five times as massive as Jupiter. This is also the first planet discovered orbiting a fast-rotating hot star.The students were testing a method of investigating the light fluctuations of thousands of stars in the OGLE database in an automated way. The brightness of one of the stars was found to decrease...

2008-10-21 11:12:55

By cleverly unraveling the workings of a natural cosmic lens, astronomers have gained a rare glimpse of the violent assembly of a young galaxy in the early Universe. Their new picture suggests that the galaxy has collided with another, feeding a supermassive black hole and triggering a tremendous burst of star formation. The astronomers used the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to look at a galaxy more than 12 billion light-years from Earth, seen as it was...

2008-09-12 08:53:20

Abell 1689, shown in this composite image, is a massive cluster of galaxies located about 2.3 billion light years away that shows signs of merging activity. Hundred-million-degree gas detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory is shown as purple in this image, while galaxies from optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope are colored yellow. The X-ray emission has a smooth appearance, unlike other merging systems such as the Bullet Cluster or MACS J0025.4-1222. The temperature pattern...

2008-06-02 13:40:00

Newly discovered extrasolar planet is the smallest known and has smallest host starAn international team of astronomers led by David Bennett of the University of Notre Dame has discovered an extra-solar planet of about three Earth masses orbiting a star with a mass so low that its core may not be large enough to maintain nuclear reactions. The result was presented Monday (June 2) at the American Astronomical Society annual meeting in St. Louis.The planet, referred to as MOA-2007-BLG-192Lb,...

2008-02-21 13:16:22

A University of British Columbia astronomer with an international team has discovered the largest structures of dark matter ever seen. Measuring 270 million light-years across, these dark matter structures criss-cross the night sky, each spanning an area that is eight times larger than the full moon. "The results are a major leap forward since the presence of a cosmic dark matter web that extends over such large distances has never been observed before," says Ludovic Van Waerbeke, an...

2008-02-19 09:05:00

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have compiled a large catalog of gravitational lenses in the distant universe. The catalog contains 67 new gravitationally lensed galaxy images found around massive elliptical and lenticular-shaped galaxies. This sample demonstrates the rich diversity of strong gravitational lenses. If this sample is representative, there would be nearly half a million similar gravitational lenses over the whole sky. The lenses come from a recently completed,...

Latest Gravitational lensing Reference Libraries

2010-09-13 16:46:47

The cluster CL0024+17, located in Pisces, is a galaxy cluster that is allowing astronomers to probe the distribution of dark matter in space. Dark matter does not reflect light and therefore cannot be seen. It is only detectable by the way its gravity affects the lights around it. Using gravitational lensing astronomers observe the distorted light around the dark matter and are able to tell where it is located within a cluster. A dark matter ring found near the cluster's center, by...

2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gravitational Lens -- A gravitational lens is formed when the light from a very distant, bright object (such as a quasar) is "bent" around a massive object (such as a massive galaxy) between the bright object and the viewer. The process is known as gravitational lensing, and was one of the predictions made by Einstein's general relativity. Description In a gravitational lens, the gravity from the massive object bends light as a lens might. As a result, the path of the light from a...

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