- a heavy, dense body, as a galaxy, that lies along our line of sight to a more distant object, as a quasar, and whose gravitational field refracts the light of that object, splitting it into multiple images as seen from the earth.
Origin of gravitational lens
First recorded in 1975–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- astronomy a lenslike effect in which light rays are bent when passing through the gravitational field of such massive objects as galaxies or black holes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- A massive celestial object, such as a galaxy, whose gravity can act as a lens that functions to bend and focus the light of a more distant object. This results in a magnified, distorted, or multiple image of the original light source for a distant observer.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.