Mar 25, 2011

What You Should Suspect When You See 4 Identical Death Stars Side by Side

4 identical Death Stars
Okay, this was done by photoshop, but it's the crux of this article nevertheless. What is behind this? you should suspect a gravitational lens . It's a region of space containing a massive object, which has strong gravity.

So, what does this do? Yep, it bends the light and makes a light source (a star) look multiplied, or in some cases just distorts the image of the star, like this one over here.

Its presence was predicted by Einstein in 1916, in the general theory of relativity. It was proved in 1919, when there was an eclipse. when the sun was hidden, the stars become visible because it gets so dark. But the position of a star seen near the sun wasn't where it was supposed to be. Thus, it was decided that the sun's gravity did this.

How this works: (from Wiki)

In this case, the 2 white lines are the actual light from the star, and the orange ones are virtual images caused by the lens effect.
This is pretty cool, it shows the gravitational lens effect of a faraway galaxy behind a black hole. It's just a simulation.
Oh, and by the way the background image of this blog should have distorted images of a star or galaxy caused by this, so keep looking!I think I found 2 of them.

Why is this lens thing so important? It's because this lets us "look" at things in space that we can't look at, such as black holes(which has a gravity so strong, there is no light at all coming from it so we can't see them), or dark matter (mystery objects in space that has a strong gravity but can't be seen). A map of dark matter has been made by measurements by the Hubble telescope.

1 comment:

  1. good simple article explaining something you can't "see"(we might be able to due to quantum entanglement??)..

    blackholes are really interesting, i keep wondering if they have inertial spin and the nature of the "singularity" and the ramifications of that.. also the interaction of quantum mechanics and relativity at the event horizon.. so many questions :P.