How the Universe Makes More Powerful Lenses Than Humans Ever Could

Camera technology is incredibly advanced nowadays, but it has nothing on what the universe can do. When scientists want to study objects that are too far away to be seen with human technology, they turn toward a unique phenomenon called gravitational lensing. This neat video will show you what gravitational lensing is and why it is so useful to observing the early universe.

Coming to you from PBS Space Time, this interesting video will show you what gravitational lensing is and how it works. First correctly predicted by Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, a gravitational lens is created when a large bunch of matter passes between a light source and an observer, causing spacetime to be warped to such a degree that light is significantly bent and the image behind the matter is magnified. How much magnification there is depends on the individual parameters, but it can be significant; for example, in 2018, using the Hubble Space Telescope, University of Hawaiʻi researchers found that the galaxy eMACSJ1341-QG-1 was magnified by a factor of approximately 30 by the galaxy cluster eMACSJ1341.9-2441. It's a remarkable phenomenon that allows us to study faraway areas of the universe in finer detail than otherwise possible. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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