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Introduction of Gravitational Lensing

Gravitational lensing research explores the fascinating phenomenon in astrophysics where the gravitational field of massive objects, such as galaxies or black holes, bends and distorts light from background objects.
Strong Gravitational Lensing:

This subtopic focuses on the most noticeable lensing effects, where multiple and highly distorted images of a single background object, like a quasar or a galaxy, are formed around a massive foreground object. Studying these multiple images provides crucial information about the mass distribution of the foreground lens and the geometry of space-time.

Weak Gravitational Lensing:

Weak lensing occurs when the gravitational distortion is subtle, causing slight but coherent shapes in the images of distant galaxies. Researchers use statistical techniques to detect these weak distortions, providing insights into the distribution of dark matter in the universe and the large-scale structure of the cosmos.


Microlensing involves the gravitational lensing effects caused by small objects, such as individual stars or black holes, within a galaxy. This phenomenon can be observed when a compact foreground object passes in front of a background star, causing temporary brightening. Microlensing is a powerful tool for detecting dark matter in the form of MACHOs (Massive Astrophysical Compact Halo Objects) and studying the composition of distant stars.

Gravitational Lens Time Delays:

When multiple images of a distant object are formed due to strong lensing, they often exhibit time delays in their light curves. Studying these time delays allows astronomers to calculate the Hubble constant, a crucial parameter describing the rate of the universe’s expansion. Accurate measurements of time delays provide essential constraints on cosmological models.

Einstein Rings and Arcs:

Einstein rings are rare but visually striking occurrences in gravitational lensing, where a background object is perfectly aligned with a massive foreground object, creating a circular ring of distorted light. Similarly, gravitational arcs are elongated features formed when a background object’s light is stretched and bent around a massive foreground object. Studying these phenomena helps astronomers map the mass distribution of galaxy clusters and investigate the properties of both visible and dark matter within them.

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Gravitational Lensing

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