Gravitational lensing of distant galaxies

This diagram illustrates how gravitational lensing by foreground galaxies will influence the appearance of far more distant background galaxies. This means that as many as 20 percent of the most distant galaxies currently detected will appear brighter because their light is being amplified by the effects of foreground intense gravitational fields.

The plane at far left contains background high-redshift galaxies. The middle plane contains foreground galaxies; their gravity amplifies the brightness of the background galaxies. The right plane shows how the field would look from Earth with the effects of gravitational lensing added. Distant galaxies that might otherwise be invisible appear due to lensing effects. 


Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA and A. Feild (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Wyithe (University of Melbourne, Australia), H. Yan (Ohio State University, USA), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University, USA), and S. Mao (Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, and National Astronomical Observatories of China) 

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:12 January 2011, 19:00
Size:3221 x 2416 px

About the Object

Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Gravitationally Lensed

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3.4 MB
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258.0 KB

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