Gravitational Lensing

Mapping Dark Matter 4.5 Billion Light-years Away

by Shannon Hall July 25, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter The Milky Way measures 100 to 120 thousand light-years across, a distance that defies imagination. But clusters of galaxies, which comprise hundreds to thousands of galaxies swarming under a collective gravitational pull, can span tens of millions of light-years. These massive […]

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Gallery: Incredible Mirages In Space Show Dark Matter, Supernovas And Galaxies

by Elizabeth Howell April 25, 2014

How can an exploding star appear far brighter than expected? This question vexed astronomers since the discovery of PS1-10afx, supernova that was about 30 times more luminous than other Type 1A supernovas. Astronomers have just confirmed in Science that it was likely due to well-known illusion in space. The mirage is called a gravitational lens that happens when […]

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New Hubble View Shows Objects a Billion Times Fainter Than Your Eyes Can See

by Nancy Atkinson April 17, 2014

While this image isn’t as deep as the Hubble Deep Field, this 14-hour exposure by the Hubble Space Telescope shows objects around a billion times fainter than what can be seen with the human eyes alone. Astronomers say this image also offers a remarkable depth of field that lets us see more than halfway to […]

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Here’s A Nine-Billion-Year Old Gravitational Lens In Space

by Elizabeth Howell October 17, 2013

Here’s a picture of what deflected light looks like from 9.4 billion years away. This is the most faraway “gravitational lens” that we know of, and a demonstration of how a galaxy can bend the light of an object behind it. The phenomenon was first predicted by Einstein, and is a handy way of measuring […]

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Novel Strategy May Help Target Extraterrestrial Intelligent Life

by Shannon Hall October 15, 2013

Discovering life beyond Earth might just be the holy grail of science. And even though we have yet to find evidence for little green men or blobs of bacteria, astronomers continue to search for elusive signs of life. A novel strategy may help astronomers better target extraterrestrial intelligent life. Dr. Michael Gillon, of the University […]

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