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 The image, the deepest infrared shot ever taken, shows a foreground galaxy cluster called SMACS 0723 that is acting as gravitational lens, revealing much more distant galaxies behind it. Christopher Cokinos, Discover Magazine, 12 July 2022 As light from distant galaxies passes through dark matter, the gravity of the invisible material bends that light, distorting it - this is called a gravitational lens. Discover Magazine, 15 Jan. 2012 Such mirror images arise when an object’s light takes multiple paths around a gravitational lens. Fionna M. D. Samuels, Scientific American, 21 July 2022 These CubeSats could then make a 25-year journey to the solar gravitational lens (SGL) point. Joshua Hawkins, BGR, 26 July 2022 But the galaxy cluster captured in the image, known as SMACS 0723, serves as a gravitational lens, bringing to light more distant galaxies. Anna Kaufman, USA TODAY, 12 July 2022 With microlensing, a foreground object can act as a gravitational lens to bend and amplify the light from a distant background star. Bruce Dorminey, Forbes, 11 June 2022 Despite the far-out nature of the solar gravitational lens, Turyshev, Macintosh and Madurowicz are of one mind: thinking about its possibilities now is worthwhile. Allison Gasparini, Scientific American, 25 May 2022 The mass of that closer galaxy acts as a gravitational lens, bending SPT0418–47’s rays toward Earth so that ALMA can get a better image. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, 12 Aug. 2020 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gravitational lens.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1937, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gravitational lens was in 1937

Dictionary Entries Near gravitational lens

Cite this Entry

“Gravitational lens.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

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