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Relativity

One astronomical phenomenon that is used to validate relativity is gravitational lensing. The 'lensing' is caused by the bending of light's path in the presence of strong gravity: an anomaly predicted by General Relativity. While gravitational lensing supports relativity, it is also a useful analytical tool for astronomers. For instance, scientists in Scotland watched as a relatively nearby star passed in front of a far away star. By observing how the light from the far away star was bent, the scientists discovered that the nearby star also had a Jupiter-sized planet orbiting it!

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Imagine the Universe! is a service of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), Dr. Alan Smale (Director), within the Astrophysics Science Division (ASD) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

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This page last updated: Monday, 27-Sep-2004 11:26:11 EDT