Through a Glass, Darkly:Observing Our Cosmos Via Gravitational LensesA Literature Review
Jennifer L. Nielsen, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Astrophysics 555
Do not Bodies act upon Light at a distance, and by their action bend itsRays, and is not this action strongest at the least distance?-Isaac Newton,
1704There is no great chance of observing this phenomenon...-Albert Einstein, 1936
Figure 1: Arcs of light resulting from gravitational lensbehavior in galaxy Abell 2218. Note “glass-like” quality of visual distortion.
Gravitational lensing is a visually extraordinary astrophysical phenomenonwhich occurs when light from a bright, distant source in space bends around amassive object, such as a galaxy, star or planet, before reaching theobservational instrument of an astronomer. The resulting cosmic mirage--a1