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Different types of gravitational lenses

Different types of gravitational lenses


Date: 12 February 2004
Satellite: Hubble
Depicts: Abell 2218
Copyright: European Space Agency

Gravitational lenses produce different shaped images depending on the shape of the lensing body. If the lens is spherical then the image appears as an Einstein ring (in other words as a ring of light) (top); if the lens is elongated then the image is an Einstein cross (it appears split into four distinct images) (middle), and if the lens is a galaxy cluster, like Abell 2218, then arcs and arclets (banana-shaped images) of light are formed (bottom).
Last Update: 1 September 2019
7-Feb-2023 12:10 UT

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