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.
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- gravitational collapse,
- gravitational constant,
- gravitational field,
- gravitational interaction,
- gravitational mass,
- gravitational radius,
- gravitational redshift,
- gravitational ulcer,
- gravitational wave
Origin of gravitational lens
First recorded in 1975–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
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.