Gravitational Micro-lensing

Through a process known as gravitational micro-lensing (GM), astronomers the past two decades have identified 500 planets circling other stars, and scientists using NASA’s Kepler satellite have announced 1,235 more candidates this year. GM is more sensitive to planets further out, and relies on the ability of the gravitational field of a massive object – in this case a planet and its star – to bend light and act as a magnifying lens, as predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.


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