Furthermore, researchers took advantage of microlensing
, a key advance, where individual stars in the intervening, lensing galaxy provided additional magnification of the light from the quasar.
To find new planets, WFIRST will use gravitational microlensing
, a technique that relies on the gravity of stars and planets to bend and magnify the light coming from stars that pass behind them from the telescope's viewpoint.
"It's WFIRST's unique combination -- both a wide field of view and a high resolution -- that make it so powerful for microlensing
WFIRST will use gravitational microlensing
in its search for new planets.
The second was something closer to the star, with three times the Sun's mass--perhaps another star, a neutron star, or a stellar-mass black hole--that gravitationally tweaked the starlight in what's known as a microlensing
For the discovery, the team used a technique called microlensing
-- a method capable of discovering planets at truly great distances from the Earth.
Astronomers have now glimpsed for the first time a distant star's light bending and revealing its mass when an object passes in front of it, known as "gravitational microlensing
," said the report in the journal Science.
Meanwhile, in a separate release, NASA confirmed that it used a technique known as microlensing
to locate the exoplanet.
An international research team led by Radek Poleski, postdoctoral researcher at The Ohio State University, spotted the solar system due to a phenomenon called gravitational microlensing
: when the gravity of a star focuses the light from a more distant star and magnifies it like a lens.
It's not the first planet found orbiting one star in a binary, but it is the first to be discovered with microlensing
, the temporary brightening of light from a more distant star.
The planet was found by chance when scientists spotted an unusual signal in light from a "microlensing