Gravitational Lensing Q: Angle Deflection Sun/Earth?

• Macrobe
In summary, gravitational lensing is a phenomenon in which the path of light is bent by the gravitational pull of massive objects, such as the Sun or Earth. This results in a distortion of the images of objects behind the gravitational lens, making them appear larger or distorted. The amount of deflection is determined by the angle at which the light passes by the object, with a larger angle resulting in a greater deflection. Gravitational lensing is a key tool in studying the universe and has helped scientists discover and understand many objects, such as distant galaxies and dark matter.
Macrobe
I have a simple question about gravitational lensing around our sun: is the angle of deflection 1.75" arcseconds the angle of deflection as the light goes past the sun, or the angle of deflection when it is received here on earth?

I can't find it on that, though it is an interesting read. Very informative.

Macrobe said:
I can't find it on that, though it is an interesting read. Very informative.
I don't understand your question. The angle is defined relative to an undeflected ray, so it is the same angle everywhere.

Oh...yeah...duh. If you'll pardon the colloquialism, I had a brain fart. My apologies.

1. What is gravitational lensing?

Gravitational lensing is a phenomenon in which the path of light is bent due to the presence of a massive object, such as a galaxy or a cluster of galaxies. This bending of light can create a magnifying effect, allowing us to see distant objects that would otherwise be too faint to detect.

2. How does gravitational lensing occur?

Gravitational lensing occurs due to the bending of space-time by massive objects. This bending causes light to follow a curved path, similar to how light is refracted by a lens. The amount of bending depends on the mass and distance of the object, as well as the angle at which the light passes by it.

3. What is the angle of deflection in gravitational lensing?

The angle of deflection in gravitational lensing is the amount by which the path of light is bent. This angle can range from barely noticeable to several arcseconds, depending on the mass and distance of the object causing the lensing. For example, the sun can cause an angle deflection of about 1.75 arcseconds.

4. How does the sun and earth affect gravitational lensing?

The sun and earth can both cause gravitational lensing, but their effects are relatively small compared to larger objects like galaxies. The sun's gravitational lensing is responsible for the deflection of light in the night sky, while the earth's lensing can be seen in the subtle bending of starlight near the horizon.

5. What are the applications of gravitational lensing?

Gravitational lensing has many applications in astronomy and astrophysics. It can be used to study the properties of distant galaxies, to detect dark matter, and to measure the expansion rate of the universe. It has also been proposed as a potential method for interstellar travel by using the magnifying effect to view distant objects in more detail.

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