macrolensing

macrolensing

(mak -roh-lenz-ing) See gravitational lens.
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This magnification effect, known as "macrolensing", in which a galaxy plays the role of a cosmic magnifying glass or a natural telescope, proves very useful in astronomy as it allows us to observe distant objects that would otherwise be too faint to explore using currently available telescopes.
Multiple images, ghostly rings of light, luminous cross-shaped apparitions, and distorted galactic arcs all betray the powerful bending of light during macrolensing events--alignments that occur over millions of years as galaxies and galaxy clusters pass in front of more distant galaxies and quasars.
In addition to the simple cases of double-imaged quasars, macrolensing achieves some very striking visual effects.