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What is gravitational microlensing?

What is gravitational microlensing?

Gravitational microlensing is an observational effect that was predicted in 1936 by Einstein using his General Theory of Relativity. When one star in the sky appears to pass nearly in front of another, the light rays of the background source star become bent due to the gravitational “attraction” of the foreground star.

How does gravitational microlensing find exoplanets?

The gravitational microlensing method allows planets to be found using light from a distant star. The path of the light from this star will be altered by the presence of a massive lens – in our case, a star and a planet. Thus, for a short period of time, the distant star will appear brighter.

How does the gravitational microlensing technique work?

How it works. Microlensing is based on the gravitational lens effect. A massive object (the lens) will bend the light of a bright background object (the source). This can generate multiple distorted, magnified, and brightened images of the background source.

What is gravitational microlensing When does it happen?

A gravitational lens can occur when a huge amount of matter, like a cluster of galaxies, creates a gravitational field that distorts and magnifies the light from distant galaxies that are behind it but in the same line of sight. This effect is known as gravitational microlensing.

What is the main disadvantage of gravitational microlensing?

Disadvantages of the microlensing technique to detect exoplanets include: Millions of stars must be monitored to find the few that are microlensing at any given time.

Who proposed gravitational lensing?

Albert Einstein’s
Known as gravitational lensing, this extraordinary property of nature was predicted to exist by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity in the early 20th century.

Does light bend gravity?

Gravity bends light Light travels through spacetime, which can be warped and curved—so light should dip and curve in the presence of massive objects. This effect is known as gravitational lensing GLOSSARY gravitational lensingThe bending of light caused by gravity .

How was gravitational lensing proven?

That effect was first demonstrated during a total solar eclipse in 1919, when the positions of stars near the Sun were observed to be slightly shifted from their usual positions—an effect due to the pull of the Sun’s gravity as the stars’ light passed close to the Sun. …

What is gravitational lensing simple explanation?

Gravitational lensing is caused by a massive body between a distant object and ourselves. It can create the appearance of two or more objects where there is really only one. The massive body, such as a galaxy or black hole, creates a very strong gravitational field in space.

Can we bend gravity?

Gravitational time dilation occurs whenever there is difference in the strength of gravity, no matter how small that difference is. The earth has lots of mass, and therefore lots of gravity, so it bends space and time enough to be measured.