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gravitational lens

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noun Astronomy.
  1. 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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Origin of gravitational lens

First recorded in 1975–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for gravitational lens

gravitational lens

noun
  1. 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
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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

gravitational lens in Science

gravitational lens

  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.