gravitational lens

noun

Definition of gravitational lens 

: a massive celestial object (such as a galaxy) that bends and focuses the light of another more distant object (such as a quasar) by gravity and that is usually detected by the multiple images it forms of the second object

Examples of gravitational lens in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This process is known today as a gravitational lens. Elizabeth Howell, Space.com, "Hubble Telescope Discovers a Light-Bending 'Einstein Ring' in Space," 10 Apr. 2018 Although hundreds of galactic gravitational lenses are known, only a few are sufficiently close by to allow their individual stars to be seen. Maya Miller, Scientific American, "Einstein’s Greatest Theory Validated on a Galactic Scale," 22 June 2018 While the galaxy cluster was acting as a gravitational lens for Refsdel, this one star passed directly in front of Icarus, intensifying the magnifying effect. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Meet Icarus, The Most Distant Star Yet Detected," 3 Apr. 2018 Among the many things astronomers could spend decades searching for are gravitational lenses. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "An AI Found Dozens of Gravitational Lens Galaxies," 24 Oct. 2017 Two galaxies have to be almost perfectly aligned for a gravitational lens to occur, which makes them very rare. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "An AI Found Dozens of Gravitational Lens Galaxies," 24 Oct. 2017 In the past few years, cosmologists have started touting gravitational lenses as the solution to many of the field’s woes. Joshua Sokol, The Atlantic, "Using AI to Find a Cosmic Looking Glass," 25 Oct. 2017 In addition, both clusters have significant mass and act like gravitational lenses. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Science-in-progress: Did the Bullet Cluster withstand scrutiny?," 21 Sep. 2017 But unlike a regular lens, a gravitational lens doesn't focus the object into a single sharp point. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "New AI Analyzes Astronomical Images 10 Million Times Faster Than Humans," 30 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gravitational lens.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gravitational lens

1937, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

21 Nov 2018

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The first known use of gravitational lens was in 1937

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about gravitational lens

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