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News Release Archive:

News Release 186 of 966

January 12, 2011 01:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2011-04

In Deep Galaxy Surveys, Astronomers Get a Boost -- from Gravity

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Image: Gravitational Lensing of Distant Galaxies

Gravitational Lensing of Distant GalaxiesSTScI-PRC2011-04 Artist's Concept

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

This diagram illustrates how gravitational lensing by foreground galaxies will influence the appearance of far more distant background galaxies. This means that as many as 20 percent of the most distant galaxies currently detected will appear brighter because their light is being amplified by the effects of foreground intense gravitational fields.

The plane at far left contains background high-redshift galaxies. The middle plane contains foreground galaxies; their gravity amplifies the brightness of the background galaxies. The right plane shows how the field would look from Earth with the effects of gravitational lensing added. Distant galaxies that might otherwise be invisible appear due to lensing effects.

Image Type: Illustration

Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

Science Credit: NASA, ESA, S. Wyithe (University of Melbourne), H. Yan (Ohio State University), R. Windhorst (Arizona State University), and S. Mao (Jodrell Bank Center for Astrophysics, and National Astronomical Observatories of China)

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