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Gravitational Lenses

Gravitational lenses_HERO AMNH/D. Finnin

Exhibition Text

General relativity describes how space is curved by mass. Around high concentrations of mass, the curvature of space becomes strong enough to make space behave like a lens.

Some clusters of galaxies act as gravitational lenses, magnifying and distorting the images of background galaxies.

An ordinary view of galaxies is transformed …

… just as if we were looking at it through a piece of curved glass.