The Hubble Space Telescope finds an 'Einstein Ring'

This is truly spectacular. From NASA and ESA. comes this photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope which clearly proves [one] of Einstein’s theories – gravitational lensing.

The mass of this galaxy cluster is large enough to severely distort the spacetime around it, creating the odd, looping curves that almost encircle the cluster. These graceful arcs are examples of a cosmic phenomenon known as an Einstein ring. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt

Via Wikipedia:

The bending of light by a gravitational body was predicted by Albert Einstein in 1912, a few years before the publication of general relativity in 1916 (Renn et al. 1997). The ring effect was first mentioned in academic literature by Orest Chwolson in 1924. Einstein remarked upon this effect in 1936 in a paper prompted by a letter by a Czech engineer, R W Mandl, but stated,

Of course, there is no hope of observing this phenomenon directly. First, we shall scarcely ever approach closely enough to such a central line. Second, the angle β will defy the resolving power of our instruments.

Science vol 84 p 506 1936


Now there is.

These graceful arcs are examples of a cosmic phenomenon known as an Einstein ring. The ring is created as the light from a distant objects, like galaxies, pass by an extremely large mass, like this galaxy cluster. In this image, the light from a background galaxy is diverted and distorted around the massive intervening cluster and forced to travel along many different light paths toward Earth, making it seem as though the galaxy is in several places at once.

This image from Hubble is packed full of galaxies. A keen eye can spot exquisite elliptical galaxies and spectacular spirals, seen at various orientations: edge-on with the plane of the galaxy visible, face-on to show off magnificent spiral arms, and everything in between.The vast majority of these specks are galaxies, but to spot a foreground star from our own galaxy, you can look for a point of light with tell-tale diffraction spikes. The most alluring subject sits at the centre of the frame. With the charming name of SDSSJ0146-0929, the glowing central bulge is a galaxy cluster — a monstrous collection of hundreds of galaxies all shackled together in the unyielding grip of gravity.

With the charming name of SDSS J0146-0929, this is a galaxy cluster — a monstrous collection of hundreds of galaxies all shackled together in the unyielding grip of gravity. The mass of this galaxy cluster is large enough to severely distort the space-time around it, creating the odd, looping curves that almost encircle the center of the cluster.


209 thoughts on “The Hubble Space Telescope finds an 'Einstein Ring'

      • Maybe Einstein borrowed some ideas from others but he certainly didnt copy the theory of special relativity
        This is from a biography of Maxwell’s life
        “At that time, Maxwell believed that the propagation of light required a medium for the waves, dubbed the luminiferous aether. Over time, the existence of such a medium, permeating all space and yet apparently undetectable by mechanical means, proved more and more difficult to reconcile with experiments such as the Michelson-Morley experiment. Moreover, it seemed to require an absolute frame of reference in which the equations were valid, with the distasteful result that the equations changed form for a moving observer. These difficulties inspired Einstein to formulate the theory of special relativity, and in the process Einstein abandoned the requirement of a luminiferous aether.”
        So sir your website contains fraudulent spurious and libelous information.

      • John Murray Cuddihy probably was afraid that Einstein’s theories would destroy the existence of a God which they would eventually do. However it is ironic that Einstein himself believed in a God.

      • What a curious video – it starts with several minutes of demonstration of how many people were not bright enough to understand Einstein, then leaps head first into anti-Semitism with the completely unsubstantiated FRAUD statement, followed by blatantly racist nonsense.
        Somewhat surprised the mods allow this to remain on WUWT.

      • “..Einstein’s theories would destroy the existence of a God which they would eventually do.”
        Speaking of fraudulent and spurious information. And irony.

      • How exactly do Einstein’s theories disprove the existence of God?
        Sounds more like wishful thinking on your part.

      • Yikes. I think I’ll skip that video.
        I have a simple way of seeing. God equals Truth. Satan (or Maya) equals Ignorance.
        Ignorant people are often threatened by Truth, because they are comfortable thinking as they have always thought, and don’t want to adjust their way of thinking, which involves hard work.
        Einstein did the hard work, which makes him to some degree “godly”.
        People threatened by Einstein work even harder, to avoid the work involved involved in understanding, which makes them “satanic”.
        It is foolishness to work so hard to avoid hard work, but that is what ignorance will do to you. I know all about such foolishness, for back in my youth, as a young artist, I’d work incredibly hard to avoid working a Real Job, and slept in abysmal places to avoid paying rent.
        Ignorant behavior would kill us all with grief, were we not gifted with an antidote, called “a sense of humor.” Without the gift of laughter ignorance would wiped me off the face of the map years ago.

      • This one is strong in conspiracy. Let’s say so that while Einstein was a significant genius, time was ripe for the inventions of relativity. He wasn’t working in a bottle.
        In my opinion, there’s no merit in this topic. The lense is beautiful, whatever you think about Einstein.

      • Lorentz and Poincare were ahead of Einstein in formulating the equations of special relativity – the Lorentz transformations. But they thought the effects were just illusions. They were trying to explain the Michelson-Morley experiment in terms of Newtonian mechanics. Einstein’s insight was the effects are real and so he modified Newtonian mechanics. It takes a genius to look at the same equations and come to a different conclusion.

      • There’s also an anecdote on general relativity. Hilbert was considered the best mathematician in 1915 before Einstein published his paper on general relativity. Hilbert became interested in theory of relativity but because he’s not a physicist, he asked Einstein to give him a tutorial. Einstein obliged. Soon thereafter Hilbert was competing with Einstein in formulating general relativity.
        The story goes that Hilbert won the race and sent Einstein a letter showing Hilbert’s equations on general relativity. Einstein saw a mistake in Hilbert’s equations and quickly corrected it and published his paper. Hilbert did not contest priority over Einstein but upon seeing Einstein’s paper, Hilbert reportedly said well that’s my equations.

      • Mod- Opinions differ, indeed. We must use our common sense and good judgment to distinguish between the intellectually honest and the deliberate obfuscation in favor of a thinly veiled agenda. It is within that careful distinction, so far from extremist amoralism, that mankind may evolve. This video is dishonest and grotesque. I implore the Moderators to remove it.

  1. Imagine that.
    Einstein predicted this using paper, pencil, and a brain.
    Not a computer model in sight.
    What else could humankind discover without the benefit of computer models?
    Anthropogenic Global Warming?
    I don’t think so.

    • Computer models are a tool to aid thought, not a substitute for thought or exeriment.

      • Models don’t test hypothesis either. You need an observation to demonstrate a hypothesis is true, so far.
        A model allows testing of variable ranges in “what if” scenarios. They don’t demonstrate truth in any way.

      • “Computer models are a tool to aid thought, not a substitute for thought or exeriment.”
        My old, jaded eyes read that as “Computer models are a tool to aid thought, not a substitute for thought, or excrement.” Some of ’em come close to the latter.

      • sarcasm mod.
        Most of your readers here are more than happy to accept the results of models when they conform
        to their beliefs.
        We use models all the time, especially in cases where we Cannot do experiments ( like 911)
        and these models are evidence, not empirical evidence, but they are evidence.
        Some folks however take the view that we only get knowledge by doing experimentsand collecting observations. Its not. Its one way.

      • The computer models that the chemist was using on the twin towers were using architectural concepts and basic physics and engineering concepts that have been used thousands of times to construct buildings and for demolition of buildings. So I agree with his use of computers in that situation. On the other hand climate models cannot model the earth correctly . It is just too big.

      • Mosh
        A model is not evidence and does not provide evidence. A model only has value insofar as it’s outputs can be confirmed by evidence. Climate models do not provide evidence of anything other than that some people believe whatever comes out of a computer.
        Reality is not tested against models. Models are tested against reality. This was and always will be true. A model is a representation of reality, it is hoped. To model reality it must first be understood, otherwise it is tea leaves and dowsing balls inspiring ‘sensitives’.
        What is so remarkable about the climate alarm phenomenon is that so many people have suspended their belief in reality and substituted it with beliefs informed by the outputs of models with little to no demonstrated skill.
        It is truly the victory of superstition over science.

      • A model can disprove a hypothesis (in certain circumstances( but it can never prove one.
        If you have a hypothesis about how the solar system formed, you can build a model to test your hypothesis.
        If you can create a model that supports your hypothesis, this is evidence, but not proof. If others can show that your model is junk, even that “evidence” vanishes.
        If you can’t create a model that supports your hypothesis this is evidence (but not proof) that your hypothesis may be wrong. It could also be evidence that the problem is too complex to model, or that there are other things that we don’t understand that are preventing the model from working.

      • As always, Mosh has to lie about what others believe in order to prove to himself how righteous he is.
        We don’t reject climate models because we don’t like their output. We reject climate models because they don’t (and can’t) reflect reality.
        Other models that model simpler things that are better understood, are quite valid and have been proven over and over again.
        When you can create a climate model, that accurately simulates the earth then we will more willing to accept your models.
        BTW, your model has to be accurate both regionally and locally. trying to say that when the whole earth is averaged it comes out correct is a huge dodge and is not legitimate.
        You also need to demonstrate that the parameters you are feeding into your models are accurate, not just best guesses that happen to make the model produce the numbers you are looking for.

      • Models do not provide evidence. They may provide an indication of being on the same track as your hypothesis but that is all. Otherwise Boeing could make a model airplane, test it, and then start making full size planes for sale because the “evidence” showed it would fly as they thought.

      • A model car is just that.They can’t actually be driven.
        A catwalk model demonstrates articles that will likely never be produced or worn by anyone.
        One wouldn’t actually trust a model plane to carry passengers.
        And in reply to Mosh, thankfully sceptics retain the ability to be sceptical, even of their own models.
        Alarmists are worryingly compliant.

    • Einstein used the best modeling computer there is — the human brain — as he sat on the trolley, imagining what the world would look like if it were moving at the speed of light.

  2. Strictly, the calculated mass of the central galaxy cluster isn’t enough to bend the light from the background (hidden) object enough to produce this Einstein ring diameter — which is why we add “dark matter” to the galaxy cluster to achieve the mass required. But two key assumptions are that our distance scale is right and that the space-time manifold be flat — if either of those assumptions is wrong, “dark matter” goes up in a poof of phlogiston.

    • I just don’t buy dark matter. I see them as epicycles, invented conjectures to explain why observaton doesn’t match theory.

      • The problems are that 1) the general theory of relativity has been repeatedly confirmed by its predictions shown correct, and 2) the observations appear to be valid. Taking the two together, dark matter and dark energy emerge. Unless the theory, the observations or both are wrong, they require dark matter and dark energy.

      • Chimp – Your logic looks convincing, but it is essentially an argument from ignorance (argumentum ad ignorantiam). IOW, while dark matter and dark energy would fill the knowledge gap, it is not certain that they are the only possible explanation. Unfortunately, we have in climate science a situation in which proponents of a hypothesis have defended it by saying that they won’t listen to any criticism or to any evidence that their hypothesis is incorrect, instead they say they would only yield to a complete alternative hypothesis (judged by themselves of course). ie, they have totally corrupted the scientific process. I hope that the proponents of dark matter and dark energy will not follow this line and will take a proper scientific approach. In summary: dark matter and dark energy are interesting hypotheses, period.

      • Mike,
        Cosmologists would be happy to entertain other explanations, but there aren’t any without their own even more troublesome aspects.
        Real science is self-correcting, so more satisfying explanations for observations may emerge. As yet, however, none has.
        That Earth goes around the Sun was once just an hypothesis, as well.
        So, if the GTR be correct, as appears to be the case, and observations are valid and are being refined, then dark energy and matter are the best explanation on offer right now.
        Cosmology is not like post-modern “climate science”, in which CO2 is assumed to explain (largely bogus) observations, while unjustifiably pooh-poohing more convincing alternative explanations.

      • I have never met a cosmologist who proclaims that we have proof of dark matter or dark energy.
        They have measured galaxies that rotate faster than the observed mass in the galaxy can explain.
        Dark matter is just the currently available best guess.
        If someone can come up with a theory that explains this discrepancy better than “dark matter”, then you will never hear the words “dark matter” again.
        Ditto for dark energy. It explains why the universe seems to be expanding faster than it did in the past.

      • There have been some recent studies that suggest that the galaxies may not be accelerating away from each other. In other words Hubble may have been wrong. In that case we dont need dark energy nor dark matter the 2 big pink elephants of physics. Richard Feynmann would have never approved of the invention of Dark Energy and Dark matter. He would have said that we just dont know and leave it at that. There are so many other unresolved problems with physics, why cant physicists be humble and just say we dont know. Dark matter and Dark energy have slipped into main stream thought the way that AGW has; without proving the null hypothesis. All science is in a crisis.

      • Dark matter and dark energy are just words but we don’t yet know what they are. Physicists are working on theories to explain what they are. For dark matter, there are two main theories: 1) it is undetected particles and 2) it is a new field that requires a revised theory of gravity. I bet on undetected particles.
        For dark energy, many physicists thinks it’s the cosmological constant in Einstein’s field equation. Some, including me, are skeptical because the cosmological constant may just be a free parameter. It may not be a physical field but only a mathematical artifact. Some think it’s the vacuum energy but there’s a big problem with that. Vacuum energy in quantum theory is something like 10^120 stronger than the observed dark energy. It’s the biggest error in the history of physics called the “vacuum catastrophe”
        I think dark energy is just relativistic kinetic energy. My paper on that has been peer-reviewed but the reviewers in the Royal Society of London didn’t agree with it (I’m revising it)

      • Robert I live in Ottawa Canada. If that is where you live we must get together to organize opposition to this hoax.
        My email is [pruned]
        [The mods strongly recommend you not publish a personal email publicly on the web. .mod]

      • If gravity is the reason that galaxies hold together and rotate then Newton’s laws require the rotational velocity to decrease with the radius from the center of the galaxy. However, our observations show that the spiral arms of galaxies rotate at the same speed as the galaxy core. This observation confounded scientists who insisted upon the gravity model and this led to Dark Matter being theorized. Scientific crack filler. If more mass was present than observed then Newton’s laws could hold true. I’m not aware of any claim that dark matter has actually been observed.
        Just like with climate science, many other areas of science are built upon assumptions. For climate the assumptions are that the temperature records are worthy of being the foundation of further study, that the models are correct, and that CO2 is “THE” control knob to climate and the sensitivity to CO2 is high. How much “science” gets built upon these assumptions? In astrophysics the assumptions are gravity, accretion disc creation, nuclear fusion stars and general relativity. How much work has been built upon these assumptions and how much are we now learning that doesn’t comply with these assumptions? Question the theory? Blasphemy! Get more crack filler. I don’t think there is any proof of a black hole – despite the fact that so many things are called black holes. No proof of dark matter or dark energy. The recent claim of gravity wave detection by LIGO is something I’m highly dubious of. Gravity is not understood at all. Newton’s equation for it defines it as a function of mass. Mass is also something that isn’t understood outside of gravity or some other force like gravity – unless it is related to energy. So we get things defined circularly. Gravity isn’t defined as a function of time by Newton, so it is hard to understand why it is a wave and why it would have a propagation speed. The stability of the planetary orbits in the solar system seems to come from gravity being an instantaneous force – the Earth rotates around the Sun exactly where it is at this moment – not where the sun was 8.3 minutes ago “when the wave left the sun.”
        There is another theory worth considering – it does not require the invention of dark matter to explain the rotation of galaxies. But it does require a challenge to some cosmological assumptions. I’m providing a link here to a 12 minute Youtube video which explains it. Dr. Donald Scott gives us a preview of the paper he published this month in the journal Progress in Physics. The paper is titled: Birkeland Currents and Dark Matter. I’m also providing a link to the paper.
        The theory is that electromagnetic force – not gravity – explains the rotation of galaxies. This theory is not Scott’s alone, but Scott builds upon the work of others and proposes a model of the Birkeland current – which shows the EM force decaying as 1/(SQRT(r)) (inverse of the square root of the radius from the axis of the current. (A Bessel function). Galaxy rotation seems to comply well with this model – according to Scott.
        For this to make sense, here is the rest of it. This is a part of the EU (Electric Universe) theory of cosmology. It is controversial – and that makes sense, because it challenges the established cosmology of accretion disk formation of stars and planets. It theorizes massive flows of plasmas/charged particles through space in the form of Birkeland currents. These currents are intergalactic. Some other key parts of the theory include: stars form at “z-pinches” in the plasma, stars are connected electrically, a star and its planets are connected electrically, comets are electric (the tail is an ion trail – comets are not “dirty snowballs), and more. A lot of recent data that has come in from space probes lends support to some aspects of this theory: comets are not snow covered but rocky bodies, Voyager didn’t find the heliopause return but the magnetic field continues past the heliopause, counter rotating rings on Jupiter and Saturn behave as Birkeland currents, etc. Instead of dark matter and other crack filler theories, the EU theory is taking a look at the possible role plasma and related electrical phenomenon plays in the cosmos.

      • RE: Birkeland currents
        It’s not true that astrophysicists don’t believe in “space currents.” Moving charged particles are space currents and that includes solar wind, cosmic rays and ionized interstellar and intergalactic mediums. They don’t believe these currents affect motion of stars because they are electrically neutral.
        Astronomers don’t know the particle density in interstellar space very accurately. The uncertainty range is a factor of 10 or more. The calculated ratio of dark matter to ordinary matter is around 1 ordinary to 6 dark. That’s within the uncertainty range so no need to invent some exotic unknown particles. Ordinary atoms will do.

      • If “currents are electrically neutral” then how are they currents? The statement that electrical currents are then neutrally charged is immediately false on its face. I suspect you meant something else.

      • then dark energy and matter are the best explanation on offer right now.
        Nope. They are place holders for that one phrase experts hate most of all. “We don’t know”.

      • One of the things that is standard in science is that when you have years of studies that show one result, you need something stronger than “a study suggests” to over turn it.
        If you can create a study that actually “shows” that the universe isn’t expanding, then you will win a Nobel, perhaps ;several.

      • William Ward
        In other words, we don’t know, what we don’t know.
        I am an ignoramus of the greatest magnitude, but even I recognise humanity is still struggling with creations most fundamental problems.
        The problem is, scientists are represented as prescriptive by the media, and quite the opposite is true (other than a select few) most scientists are happy to be challenged. It offers them the opportunity to test their hypothesis.
        I find it laughable that the debate over climate even exists, we are only just communicating by mobile phones when birds have had the ability to navigate thousands of miles of migration with nothing, not even a paper map.
        We imagine we understand how weather systems work, when we can’t routinely survive under water for more than a few minutes without clumsy, rudimentary equipment.
        We haven’t yet figured out how to routinely mobilise a passenger vehicle on tarmac using anything more than four contact patches around the size of a credit card each, and suffer the consequences of road crashed daily because of that miserable limitation.
        We can’t even cure the common cold!
        Yet the media would have us believe scientists know it all, and live vicariously on the back of that concept.
        Our problem isn’t scientists, it’s the bloody media!

      • Chimp, the importance of the “Dark Energy” and “Dark Matter” kludges is that they are inventions developed to help “save” the Standard Model. The SM did not expect to see objects as far away as we can now detect them. That huge distance implied that some alternative model was needed. Eitther universe was considerably older than though (which allowed the speed of light to remain “king”) or the universe was as old as theory allowed, and must have had a different speed of light in the deep past (during the “inflationary period following the Big Bang). To rescue the SM, the primary proponents of the SM hacked out the “Black Energy” kludge. Added to the standard model, it “adjusts” the model to permit the universe to be as big as it is and still be as young as they believe it to be.
        Dark Mattter is unrelated to that. DM was deemed necessary when many galaxies were found to carry excess angular momentum that could not be accounted for. DM is a kludge (“hypothesis” really) to explain that angular momentum without doing any additional violence to the SM. Postulate some kind of special matter and it ceases to be an astrophysics problem. They can point to nuclear and quantum physicists and ask why they haven’t found DM for them yet. Another hypothesis, an alternative to DM is so-called Modified Newtonian Dynamics, which applies a small tweak to Newton’s Law, postulating that gravity is very slightly variable at very large scales.
        Both these antics are reminiscent of the “epicycle” debacle in Ptolemaic astronomy. For centuries astronomers working from a geocentric perspective adjusted their calculations and observations by applying epicyclical adjustments that explained the motions of celestial based on a very complex, and increasingly so, model of celestial motions. It actually worked morfe or less for things like almanacs and calendars, but as new objects were identified in the heavens, the system had to complicated with new epicycles. With Copernicus’ model of a heliocentric system, everything became much, much simpler. It is important to remember that both models relied on the same observational evidence.

      • “If “currents are electrically neutral” then how are they currents?”
        Currents are either negative or positive charged particles. The stars are neutral as they contain protons and electrons. Electromagnetic force requires net charges on both bodies. Stars have magnetic fields but the lines of force are not radial to the galactic center. This is what you need to explain the flat galactic rotation curve. Gravity is the force that is radial to the galactic center because it always point to the center of mass.

      • Dr Strangelove (and Ten),
        Dr Strangelove said: “It’s not true that astrophysicists don’t believe in “space currents.”
        I think you are referring to what was said in the video and not anything I said. EU proponents seem to characterize supporters of the standard model that way. I think the difference is that EU theory says the stars are powered externally by the currents and the standard model says the currents are generated inside of the stars. I know the EU model is controversial – and reduced to “quack science” by many. I’m following the developments and using my own discernment. The standard model does not agree with these external currents existing and that is (I think) why they don’t support EM force driving the speed of rotation.
        Regarding “electrically neutral”: Matter in the plasma state is mysterious compared to matter in the gaseous state. Neutral atoms in the gaseous state become ionized in the plasma state, but the net charge is zero – equal number of positive and negative ions. Plasma can exist in one of several states. The ions can group into negative and positive layers – and flow in currents. In some regions between the currents the fields cancel and can be “quasi-neutral” – fields and net charge is zero. Not all parts of the plasma are neutral just some regions – depending upon the state. A tremendous amount of energy can flow in the currents.
        Regarding particle density uncertainty: You are suggesting that “dark matter” might be normal “baryonic” matter – and not some special new kind of matter (non-baryonic). Perhaps our inability to properly detect the quantity of ordinary matter could account for this “missing” matter that is needed to satisfy Newton. I see your point if 10:1 is the uncertainty. I would assume that was explored and ruled out – hence the theory about dark matter as non-baryonic. There is a growing list of dark matter flavors.

      • HotScot,
        I get your drift. I think we agree in the end – but I’ll share my related thoughts with you. Perhaps some scientists are truly in pursuit of objective truth. However, I fear a variety of forces limits that percentage to a small number of the most stubborn idealists. As it relates to climate science, my opinion is that our education system and social systems have cultivated most people to be ideologically aligned to be sympathetic to climate alarmism. People grow up with misanthropic messaging. My opinion is that misanthropy is the new “original sin”. There seems to be a receptor in our psyches for something like this and if religion doesn’t fill it then the new Green Religion will. Good hearted people grow up fearing we are destroying the planet. If they dare utter a counter thought they are quickly shamed into compliance. Some want to make a difference in the world. So they study some aspect of climate science with the hope that they can. They graduate, get a job, get a mortgage, spouse, children, lots of bills. They want to rise up and be recognized. To do this they need to please the Boss (like in any job). The Boss knows that climate alarmism sells – that is the way to get funding. So he/she promotes the most ambitious young alarmists who can deliver punchy research. If along the way a young scientist actually takes a minute to contemplate the state of the temperature data she has to work with then this could be the start of problems. What happens when she goes in to see the boss to ask about this? “Hey Boss, I just realized that the data we use to underpin our entire industry is a dumpster fire. Oh and by the way, you have just wasted the last 40 years of your life overseeing this activity.” The boss will probably remind her of her big mortgage and the college funds for her 3 children and ask her politely to go back to doing the good work she was doing before she had this brain seizure. Those scientists that decide to be courageous and speak out get rewarded with funding being withheld or cutoff, job loss, lawsuits – and plenty of web pages devoted to documenting their science denialism and debunking their quackery.
        It gets worse. The government and these science institutions live in a symbiotic relationship. The scientists need funding and the politicians need things to scare people out of money and power. In the process “science” has been elevated to a new religion. Scientists are the new priests. Blasphemers are now called deniers. Science becomes the objective higher authority. Politicians don’t have to say “believe me” (because who believes politicians?!) – they say – believe the scientists – after all, 97% of them agree (the other 3% are rejects).
        The media uses the controversy for ratings – and members of the media use it to advance their ideology. At times it actually seems like the media controls the politicians. So we might just agree. I just took more words to tell you my version of it.

      • “I would assume that was explored and ruled out – hence the theory about dark matter as non-baryonic.”
        Many assumed that but it’s a wrong assumption. I have calculations showing why they can’t detect baryons in interstellar space, why the ratio of baryons to dark matter is 1:6, why the galactic rotation curve is flat, why the galactic magnetic field is 1 nanotesla. It can all be explained by baryonic dark matter. I’m willing to debate these technical points with astrophysicists. In fact I sent my calculations to Sir Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of UK, to prove me wrong. No response yet after months. He was quick to point out my mistake in our previous discussion on black hole. I acknowledged my mistake.

      • Strangelove:
        “Currents are either negative or positive charged particles.” Insofar as current implies movement and movement require impetus, yes, electrical currents require potentials. I.e., currents are *not* electrically neutral.
        “The stars are neutral as they contain protons and electrons.” Baseless assertion. Stars exhibit properties that electrically identify them as part of a greater circuit – even galaxies have axial plasma plumes – and the assertion that they are neutral in a space charged with currents remains just that.
        “Electromagnetic force requires net charges on both bodies.” At the least.
        “Stars have magnetic fields but the lines of force are not radial to the galactic center.” Yet galaxies are commonly aligned in local clusters, and stars occur along electrically charged channels.
        “This is what you need to explain the flat galactic rotation curve. Gravity is the force that is radial to the galactic center because it always point to the center of mass.” As a unique condition, hardly. Surely if it were we wouldn’t have invented invisible matter to correct the equation that purports to calculate this action…

      • Chimp April 13, 2018 at 3:05 pm:
        Einstein Rings are not a test of General Relativity. They’re being presented as evidence for the Big Bang Theory (BBT.)
        Dark energy is an assumption of the BBT – that space expands as a function of time into nothing without matter.
        We measure the spectral red-shift of atoms in the core and of ejected material – we infer a velocity and hence a distance. And we implicitly assume the spectral properties of atoms in the core of a galaxy behave in the same manner atoms in our rest frame.
        If the distance is in error or a factor of 10-100, the luminosity and matter will be off by a factor 10,000.
        As Hubble has warned us, distance measurements based on the red-shift are broken.
        There isin’t enough evidence to prove or disprove the existence of the Einstein Ring.
        In order to do so, one would need more an image in the visible spectrum – one would need X-ray and gamma maps of the area in question to ensure quasars aren’t involved.
        It’s also possible for a galactic core ejecting a quasar to blow a hydrogen smoke ring.
        However, since the BBT assumes quasars are near the “edge” of the Universe despite over whelming evidence that quasars are ejected from the core of bright galaxies – the Virgo Galaxy has hundreds of quasars linked to galaxies – and there’s quasar the spiral arm of the Milky Way adjacent to us – it would be impossible to get the necessary telescope or satellite time gather the evidence – let alone publish the results if doesn’t adhere to the party line.
        Google for the Einstein Cross which is example of using X-ray and gamma ray maps to debunk the conjecture of gravitational lensed quasar.
        — CInaed

      • “Manifold” = “continuum” for this purpose. The alternatives are a spherical manifold — space-time positively curved — where things are further away than they look, and a hyperbolic manifold — space-time negatively curved — where things are closer than they look. There may be other unmodelled alternatives. The point is that we are projecting the flat space-time that we see locally, into the fathomless reaches of the cosmos, and we may be wrong to do so — space curvature may dominate at cosmological distances.

  3. The image is provided by an instrument that predates the diversion of NASA funds and other science spending to unworthy adventures in advocacy science.

  4. I wonder how our galaxy looks when viewed from SDSS J0146-0929 galaxy cluster, kind of like the way our view of the Milky Way looks?

    • You would have to be reasonably far behind it for our galaxy to lens like that. I never cease to be amazed how gravity produces phase plates.

      • It isn’t gravity going this, it is the distortion of space refracting light. i.e. space is turned into a quasi-lense, so light takes a curved path, because local space has been made a gradient of non-flatness. But non-local scale averages to flat space—how space ‘wants’ to be.
        Departures from flat expresses force, and unresolved departurecfrom flat, i.e. ‘force’, leads to the expression of matterenergy.
        Thus to the expression of emergent ‘mass% in distorted space.
        What distorts space is assumed to be an emergent space property we call ‘mass’, expressed as another emergent space property, ‘matter’. The effect and behaviour of the distortion of space, we lable a ‘force’ (gravity).
        All four ‘forces’ are the same distortiion of space, expressed as an emergent ‘force’, on different scales, of local.
        ness. On local scales space does not average to flat, just the reverse. Thus emergent ‘virtual particles’ from distorted fluctuating space.
        As space is distorted on all scales of ‘local’, this results in observed diffraction patterns of even neutrons at very local scales.
        Thus the space distortion, creating lensing at galactic local scale, is the very same more local distortion of space, at neutron scale, producing diffraction grate patterns. Which is simply a sharper more localised distortion, so a “higher energy ” more local force expresion, per E=hf.
        “It’s the space, stupid”.

    • A comparable vantage would be a view of our Local Group of more than 50 (mostly dwarf) galaxies, or maybe the whole, vast Virgo Supercluster. The Milky Way and the larger Andromeda Galaxies are the biggest in the Local Group. The Triangulum Galaxy is also massive, but might be a satellite of the Andromeda. All three have dwarf galaxies.

      • refraction through a denser medium.
        thought for the day, we all live within the atmosphere of the sun which extends out from the sun to the heliopause. That makes a pretty big lens. I don’t know how big other atmospheric bubbles are out there or how dense they are but we’ve encountered some pretty big things when we look outward.

      • also, the lensing must be occurring quite a distance relative to use behind those objects that appear to be within the ring or they would be distorted. .. which makes whatever it is causing the distortion, mass or a denser media pretty darn big.

  5. So is the light itself being bent or is the light following the portion of space that has been curved?

    • In general relativity, light follows the curvature of spacetime. Thus, light passing around a massive object is bent, ie light from a body on the other side will be bent towards an observer’s eye, just as with an ordinary lens.

    • Light is going in a straight line. It is space that is “bent”. Same thing applies when you are in orbit around a massive body. You don’t feel any angular acceleration because you are in fact going in a straight line, at least as far as space is concerned.

      • Not sure i would agree with that. An object in orbit is just an object in a free fall with enough lateral movement that it misses the object that it’s falling into. If Shepard was able to hit that golf ball hard enough on the moon, the ball could have maintained orbit because it would be falling to the surface of the moon at a rate which matched the curvature of the moon. So, does that mean space is curved? (i dunno)…

      • I don’t buy the “space is bent” argument. Light travelling past a gravitational object does indeed behave as if space is bent by the gravity, but it also behaves exactly as if space is not bent but light is subject to gravity. Absent contra evidence, Occam’s razor says space is not bent and light is subject to gravity.
        I suspect that the argument that time passes more slowly in a gravitational field is just another variation of the same. It’s a trickier argument, though. For example, gravity is stronger at the sun than it is at Earth, so time passes more slowly there. That means that although we think Earth is generally about 30 million years younger than the sun, if we could wait long enough, the sun would become younger than Earth.

      • Mike,
        Photons are massless, so their path can’t be bent by gravity.
        The reason that light usually can’t escape a black hole is not because photons have gravity, but because the massive BH curves spacetime, increasing the distance that photons must travel, such that they can’t get beyond the event horizon.

      • Rob,
        The light observed wasn’t bent by the gravity of the sun attracting photons, but by the photons following the curvature of spacetime effected by the sun’s gravity.
        In shorthand, the “bending” of light by the sun’s gravity confirmed Einstein’s prediction, but technically, his GTR says that photons follow the path of the curvature of spacetime. The distinction is important.
        Photons don’t have mass, but traveling in a straight line, unattracted themselves by gravity, the curvature of spacetime effected by a massive object, makes light appear to bend. The curvature of spacetime was demonstrated by Eddington’s observation, not that photons have mass.

      • Rob Bradley April 13, 2018 at 4:20 pm
        Apparent massiveness when accelerated to the speed of light is due to curvature of spacetime, as I mentioned. A photon traveling at light speed (as they are wont to do) won’t appear to bend unless passing along spacetime curved by a massive object.

      • afonzarelli,

        Not sure i would agree with that. An object in orbit is just an object in a free fall with enough lateral movement that it misses the object that it’s falling into.

        Kind of like Arthur Dent learning to fly…throw yourself at the ground and get distracted at the last instant. Then you miss it.
        Sorry, might be slightly OT. 🙂

      • goldminor,
        Occurred to me because I just read HHGTTG again recently. 🙂
        I still “fly” in my dreams on rare occasions (then I wake up). It’s taken me a while but i realize that in my dreams I have to ignore it to get off the ground. Damn telephone poles and wires suck, though.

      • Mike Jonas April 13, 2018 4:05 pm
        Absent contra evidence, Occam’s razor says space is not bent and light is subject to gravity.
        It sounds like you’re appealing to Newtonian physics which still viewed gravity as a force. Overall that worked fine with the exception of the orbit of mercury which, being closest to the sun, was not behaving according to Newtonian physics. The general theory, on the other hand, did account for the orbit of mercury. (so that would be your contra evidence which gave birth to the general theory of relativity)…

      • Mike Jonas April 13, 2018 at 4:05 pm
        “For example, gravity is stronger at the sun than it is at Earth, so time passes more slowly there. That means that although we think Earth is generally about 30 million years younger than the sun, if we could wait long enough, the sun would become younger than Earth.”
        The difference in the speed of time depends on the observer. To an observer in the vicinity of a massive gravitational object time appears normal but time outside the influence of that object appears to speed up. To an observer outside the influence of the massive gravitational object time appears to be normal but time in the vicinity of that object appears to slow down. The objects themselves do not get younger or older.

      • Fonzi, you have explained the affect of gravity, but not what causes it.
        According to current theory, it’s the curvature of space that causes two bodies to fall into each other in the first place.

      • Tom in Florida – You explain it clearly:- the Sun appears to age more slowly than Earth no matter whether the observer is at the sun or at Earth. So, if the observer observes for long enough …..

      • Apparent massiveness when accelerated to the speed of light is due to curvature of spacetime, as I mentioned. A photon traveling at light speed (as they are wont to do) won’t appear to bend unless passing along spacetime curved by a massive object.“.
        I have problems with that statement. The relationship between speed and mass is independent of position in space. So if I have multiple stuff at some place moving at the speed of light in all directions, it appears to follow from the above statement that spacetime is curved in all directions at that place. But in any case, I have problems with the “curved space” idea because all explanations of it appear to be circular. [For example, curved space causes two objects to fall towards each other. Uh oh, doesn’t falling towards each other sound like gravity? If it isn’t gravity, why would they fall? If they just fall “because”, then we have a circular argument.]. If I assume, for example, that light is subject to gravity regardless of whether it has mass then I get the same result as if I assume that space is curved. Note that the idea that gravity only acts on items with mass is a Newtonian concept. That mass changes with speed is an Einsteinian concept. That gravity acts on light is a straightforward concept. What is the mass of a photon anyway, when it is travelling at the speed of light?

      • Mike Jonas April 14, 2018 at 3:31 pm
        “Tom in Florida – You explain it clearly:- the Sun appears to age more slowly than Earth no matter whether the observer is at the sun or at Earth. So, if the observer observes for long enough …..”
        No the objects do not change. It is motion within the spacetime that has been affected by the massive gravitational object that slows to the outside observer. Just as motion outside the spacetime affected by the massive gravitational object speeds up to an observer inside the affected spacetime.
        The Earth is not outside the spacetime effects from the Sun.

      • Mark, i hear you. i was just disagreeing with trebla’s specific conclusion as he had laid it out. (not sure if orbiting objects prove anything one way or the other)…

  6. This is truly spectacular. From NASA and ESA. comes this photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope which clearly proves on of Einstein’s theories – gravitational lensing.

    The King of Typos has spotted one I didn’t make myself!
    Shouldn’t that be “…clearly proves one of Einstein’s theories”?

    • Gunga Din
      The devil is in the detail.
      Good one.
      Imagine if all the climate computer models had just one spelling (data) mistake each. All those 1’s and 0’s wasted because one hungover computer apprentice put a 1 instead of a 0.
      Silly, but you get my point, I hope.

  7. Even without the ring, that is an awe inspiring picture with all those galaxies. All of a sudden I feel so insignificant.

    • Spacetime is something.
      Ripples of gravitational waves wouldn’t propagate through it if it were nothing.

    • Space is not bent in the usual manner that we think of it. What changes, among other things, is the time dimension. Close to a massive gravitational object, time passes more slowly. This is the same effect that you get from your standard glass lens. At the center of the lens where it is thickest, the wavefront hitting the back of the lens has been retarded the most. This is due to the fact that the speed of light is lower in glass than in a vacuum. More glass, more time it takes to go through the lens. At the edges, the wavefront is not particularly retarded (compared to the center) since it has less glass to go through. The result is a phase shift across the radius of the lens. The phase shift appears to bend the light, but in some ways, does not bend it at all.

    • Mind-boggling, isn’t it?
      The observable universe holds at least two trillion galaxies, composed of more stars than all the grains of sand on Earth.

      • It is mind-boggling, but at the same time it is completely logical! I mean, when you think about it, the universe isn’t made of stars, it’s made of galaxies. Stars usually don’t exist outside of galaxies. I think sometimes we just assume that the universe is peppered with countless stars, but we forget that stars are encapsulated within galaxies, and galaxies exist in clusters (AFAIK).
        Our sky is made of stars, which is probably why we think in that way.

      • There are in fact super galaxies (we need another name for them) with the same spiral pattern of the galaxies
        (as if they were individual stars) that we see in galaxies. And who knows maybe super super galaxies …etc ?
        Where does it all end?

  8. ‘which clearly proves on of Einstein’s theories – gravitational lensing’
    It is an example of. There have been previous examples, sufficient to prove Einstein’s theory.

  9. Anybody know, haven’t they photographed these rings around black holes before? (or am i getting this confused with something else?)

  10. Can’t put the finger but that pic just doesn’t look right to me to be believable like smudged the wrong way

  11. If space was actually bent every object passing through it would have to follow that particular curved path regardless of its mass or relative speed ,even around the globe or sun this is obviously not the case therefore space bending is instantly debunked . Additionally if the object is not in relative motion it would just sit there and be pulled towards something next to it A curve in anything by itself cannot generate any kind of force.
    Now give me my Nobel Prize .

    • Not sure if you’d qualify for one a Nobel Prize in space science, but, if you like bend things, you might be able to get one in Climate Seance! 😎

    • Eben April 13, 2018 at 3:36 pm
      “If space was actually bent every object passing through it would have to follow that particular curved path regardless of its mass or relative speed ,even around the globe or sun this is obviously not the case therefore space bending is instantly debunked ”
      But that IS the case. Every object that is in orbit around another is there because the speed of the object prevents if from falling into the curved space (gravity well) created by the base object. If the orbiting object losses speed it falls closer and closer to the base object as the curved space becomes a greater force than the forward speed. If an orbiting object speeds up it will move away from the base object because the speed is a greater force than that of the curved space. The orbital velocity of Earth is 17,500 mph with the escape velocity being 25,000 mph. You want to leave the influence of the Earth’s gravity well, you must be going faster than 25,000 mph.

  12. I take a small amount of pride in making that image possible. Back in 2004 or so, the prediction for the size of SC24 was that it might be the largest one observed so far. If so, the upper atmosphere would heat up more than usual and expand up into the orbit of Hubble and slow it down so it would fall out of the sky [as the Chinese space station just did]. NASA is mandated not to let that happen so was contemplating a Shuttle mission to refuel the Hubble so it could re-enter the atmosphere in a controlled manner and e.g. fall into the Pacific Ocean. This would cost about 500 million USD. Luckily NASA had trust [or took a gamble] in the predictions by my college Ken Schatten and myself that SC24 would be the smallest in a 100 years, so saw no need to re-enter Hubble. As a result the taxpayers saved a lot of money and we all got some wonderful science.
    [Thank you. .mod]

  13. The photo technology which astronomers now have at their fingertips is truly amazing – I wish Einstein could have lived to see it. They can photograph a photon at a time and print it out!!

  14. I’ve been seeing photographs of gravitational lensing for several years.
    Of course this is the first time I’ve seen one that is close to being a full circle.

  15. The General Theory made three predictions that could be tested by experiment or observation. One, that the path of light would be bent in a strong gravitational field, and that was tested quite early on by observing distant stars near the sun during a total eclipse. Two: the equivalence of mass and energy, the famous E=mc² and that was proven experimentally in the 1930s at Chicago IIRC, when nuclear fission was achieved.
    The third prediction, that time would slow down at high speeds, was finally proven in 1963 or ’64. A US jet fighter took a cesium clock on a quick trip around the world and then it was compared with its synchronized mate that stayed at home. I remember it well, and the reason I remember it well, is that the teenaged me was super impressed by the fact that it was front page headline news in a paper that I had just started to read, called the Manchester Guardian.
    Mancunians don’t need to be embarrassed because it dropped the reference to that fine city in its name, long ago. A newspaper that once celebrated the greatest achievements of science is now full of the oxymoronic Climate “Science” doom and gloom. What a tragic downfall for a once excellent news forum, turned into a tendentious rag. I do miss their crossword though, which was at just the right level of difficulty for me and my ex-fiancée, but I just can’t stand the banners with “leave it in the ground” or similar self-important sentiment.

    • Smart Rock, your third prediction, i believe, would have been the special theory of relativity. (not quite sure either where E=mc2 belongs)…

  16. SDSSJ0946+1006
    Double einstein ring. Three galaxies in a line, with the front one lensing the back two.
    The first rings were discovered back in the 80’s as I recall, so I don’t really understand what the big deal is about this one.
    Still way cool, though.

  17. Can this not also be explained by simple refraction? Obviously, space is not a pure vacuum, and one would expect that there be a radial density variation around the galaxies.

    • Of course , a cloud of gas would do the same thing , it has to be all around anyway , what else would the stars form from

    • It definitely appears to be an optical phenomenon that has nothing to do with gravity.

      • would expect that there be a radial density variation around the galaxies.
        Leif, can you comment on this, please.

        Not sure what you mean, but even if there were such a variation, it would not ‘bend’ the light, and presumably would be around every galaxy, not just this rare one. So, Einstein was right. There has never been an experiment where he has failed at scale sizes larger than quantum mechanics.

      • Hmmm … I guess I’m not clear. Light refracts as it passes through an interface with a density difference. If there is a plasma halo around a galaxy — which I assume decreases in density the farther one gets away from the galaxy — will the light not refract?

        • if there is a plasma halo around a galaxy
          The intergalactic medium is much too tenuous to have any effect, but more importantly, if one galaxy has such a halo, all galaxies should have one too, so we should see rings around all galaxies and we don’t.

      • Gravitational lensing was first observed by Eddington during a solar eclipse in 1919 thus confirming Einstein’s general relativity theory, published only 4 years earlier. His 1905 paper was special relativity and did not deal with gravity.

      • The only place where this lensing can be observed is where there is one galaxy directly behind another galaxy. So even if this phenomena were being caused by refraction instead of gravity, it still wouldn’t be happening at every galaxy.

  18. Refraction of light due to the plasma contained within the galactic helosphere. Not “Gravitational lensing”

  19. OK DOes the red-shift distance estimate of the hidden galaxy match with th geometrically assessed distance?

  20. “Now there is.”

    My understanding is that observation of gravitational lensing and rings have occurred since Hubble first took pictures in the area known as “deep field”.
    Dr. lsvalgaard

    April 13, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    You should be proud! That one achievement and the results are worth a life of pride. Then, there is your other accomplishments worth a few more lifetimes of pride.
    Most of my windows backgrounds are images from Hubble.
    I agree with the mod; thank you!

    • Nope, all interpretation which added denial of the other explanation. Refraction explains all of this.
      But lets pretend refraction does not exist, like we pretend so much explanation in climate science doesn’t exist
      Those images contain no explicit evidence for Einstein rings, and have an explanation we can calculate and replicate.

      • Mark
        I agree that diffraction and curved space-time both produce lensing. However, diffraction should produce a radial rainbow. O.T.O.H. maybe if different coloured photons have different energy they will have different mass and will be separated also.Grounds for more Google.

      • Woops
        Different masses with the same velocity follow the same orbit. Curved space-time should not separate colours.

      • Unless
        different colours have different velocities in a very diffuse gas. (That is the basis of diffraction)
        Surely some competent physicist has followed this particular rabbit already,

    • I saw an article recently in which lensing has actually magnified the image of a distant galaxy. Making a galaxy that would normally be too faint to be visible, visible.

  21. In no way does this clearly prove (one) of Einstein’s theories – there are no empirical physics involved. In no way are “spacetime” – the modern aether – or “dark matter” proved either. Have we forgotten that the latter is a placeholder for what we simply do not know – the fudge factor in an equation where only gravity is the force factor?
    This may possibly pertain to one of Einstein’s theories, and “dark matter” may pertain to as-yet unexplained phenomenon but since dark matter is, as a material phenomenon, so far entirely fictional – the missing factor – I’d bet that the gravitational lens is hardly more robust than it.
    We’ve forgotten what a proof is. This simply isn’t that thing. This is nothing more than an observed effect.

    • Proofs are only for mathematical theorems. All of science is “observed effects.” If you jump off the Eiffel tower, all we see is you fall. We don’t see gravity. You can argue metaphysically that there’s no such thing as gravity. We can only claim you fell, nothing more, nothing less. But physicists don’t like metaphysics so we invent theories like gravity and it works. We can predict things and it helps engineers build real things like electric generators and airplanes. Maybe it’s all a delusion but it’s a very useful delusion. So we just ignore the philosophers shouting delusion! Delusion! As Feynman said, the philosophy of science is important to scientists as ornithology is important to birds.

      • Gravity is a good example of a functioning construct, yet “science’s” quaint reliance on abject placeholders that then become undisputed fact is remarkable. First, science isn’t conscious, meaning that *science* relies on no such things as imaginary infinity holes or explosions that produce everything from nothing or matter that doesn’t exist because only *instantaneous scientific consensus* temporarily may (and technically should not) while something quite unscientific – our belief systems – does because it’s fed to us through endless corruptions of original premises. That is, imaginary matter *does not exist* as such, yet on and on we go saying dark matter and in this case, gravitational lensing are core physical components of the universe itself.
        Second the putative Einsteinian Theory This or Theory That is, as often as not, just another assumption based on popular myth. Here again the layman has an entirely constructed faith system erected for him by guys writing press releases, Hollywood special effect engineers, or anything that feeds the simplistic momentum of conventional wisdom, such as anything conventional can be wise. Nine out of ten of claims on the man probably relate to things he himself either didn’t formulate or rejected outright.
        Does gravity exist? Sure, and nobody knows what it is. But that example of a local placeholder with enumerated properties should not be conflated with the purported properties of a universe that as likely as not, originate with some antiquated theory that over the decades have taken on a whole new meanings and claimed import. The big bang was configured to join creation myth with astrophysics. The Ort Cloud, for another example, is pure conjecture, and given how many scores of settled cosmic sciences have recently fallen on hard times, it should come as no surprise that its supposed comets have none of the properties lent to it. The same is likely true for scores of major placeholders cosmologists use to maintain this facade.
        Einstein has become a cult. He’d never have stood for it. Does this photo prove his theory? We do not know but we like to believe and we love our heroes of the sciences, as we call it.

      • First of all, Dr. Strangelove, Richard Feynman never said that. The general form of that particular bromide goes back to the expressionist artists of the early twentieth century, who tried to use it as a weak and pathetic defense against their critics. If Feynman said that, he did nothing more than rip it off; but his claim to ever having said it is dubious to begin with.
        Secondly, any scientist who attacks philosophy reveals himself to be nothing more than a shallow-pated buffoon. All purported “science” is nothing but the philosophy of earlier and profounder thinkers. Science is “world-outlook” (i.e. metaphysics) re-conceived as mechanistic knowledge. There would not and could not be any such thing as science without an antecedent philosophy to bastardize. Scientists are intrinsically second rate thinkers and ungrateful brats.
        Thirdly, Richard Feynman was an overrated idiot who has made no meaningful contributions whatsoever to the human condition. Quantum mechanics is not only wrong, it is maliciously obscurantist and anti-truthful in the extreme, a fountainhead of all sorts of perversion and nonsense.

      • Strangelove:
        “…birds will continue to do bird things despite the rant of ornithologists that they are not acting like birds.”
        Given *ornithologists*, birds are observable phenomenon, as I recall, and as such are inclined to do bird-like things. Invisible matter and everything-from-nothing and regions that defy Einstein to suck everything back into nothing and so forth are conjectured phenomenon and in some cases actually do what we tell them to do. Invisible matter’s sole purpose is in fact to fulfill both of those unique properties together.
        In other words, “scientific theory” commonly resembles unempirical physics, so to put it, because unlike birds, it performs unempirically physical things frighteningly well. For example, the common charge against pseudoscience – while we all hope it’s a much different thing – actually applies to it about as well. Not a good place to be – the universe, as we’ve devised it, appears to be its own spooky action at a distance, not surprisingly, and it could be me but I vote some of these lofty “scientific theories” might want to dial down the hubris a notch.
        I don’t think you’re wrong, per se, not here or elsewhere in the thread. No reason to. I just find that the Purportedly Scientific basis for X is assumed and asserted far too often for X to be a scientific verity or even scientific to start with. Birds, not so much. X should ideally be *demonstrated*; these being scientists and all.
        Your premise works when you add “only” to it: Only birds will continue to do bird things despite the rant of ornithologists that they are not acting like birds, assuming ornithology also genuinely fulfills its definition. Let’s ask the ornithologists…

  22. Alleged, that can still be calculated as refraction.
    If there are two explanations then it cannot be called evidence for lens effect.
    #climatesciencelogic would allow you to claim one and ignore the other

    • “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”-Hamlet
      We study the gravitational lensing in the weak field approximation assuming
      the presence of a plasma and of a magnetic field around a compact gravitational source.
      The external magnetic field causes the split of the image, as the counterpart of the Zeeman
      effect. The magnetic field affects the magnification of images, creating additional components.
      We also study the time delay of an electromagnetic signal due to the geometry and the
      gravitational field around the source. We show that the time delay strongly depends on
      the plasma parameters. Lastly, we consider the effects of the presence of an inhomogeneous
      plasma on the gravitational lensing”…
      In this paper we have studied the gravitational lensing in the weak field approximation,
      extending previous work in the literature. We have considered a plasma and a magnetic field
      around a gravitational source. Our results can be summarized as follows:

      In the presence of a magnetic field, we may observe the split of the Einstein ring, as
      the counterpart of the Zeeman effect. When the cyclotron frequency approaches the
      plasma frequency, the size and the form of the ring change because of the presence of
      a resonance state. This is a pure magnetic effect and can potentially help to study
      magnetic fields through gravitational lensing effects.

      We have studied the magnification of the image source due to weak lensing in the
      presence of a homogeneous plasma and of a magnetic field. Due to the magnetic “Zeeman
      effect”, the magnification splits into two additional components with respect to the
      unmagnetized plasma case.

      We have also studied the time delay due to the geometry and the gravitational field
      around a gravitational source. We found that the presence of a plasma and of a magnetic
      field sufficiently changes the time delay depending on the angle β.

      As a toy model, we have considered a power law density plasma. Inhomogeneities in
      the plasma also lead to image source magnifications. We found that an inhomogeneous
      plasma increases the source image magnification.”-
      It is a pity that Einstein died just before the dawn of the space age ushered in observations that space was not a void, but is indeed populated with a plasma medium and it’s attendant magnetic fields and forces. He died in 1955, Sputnik was launched in 1957. I wonder how He would be inspired by the universe revealed by the Hubble Telescope.
      The notion that gravity is the only force that operates at cosmic scales seems incomplete/simplistic. If the force of Gravity is assigned a value of 1, the electromagnetic force has a comparative value of 1×10^39. Gravity is a weak force operating over great distance (and is it’s origin is not understood). EM is a strong force operating over short distances. The current solar wind has a density of 5.7 protons/cm3 and a speed of 312.6 km/sec.
      Your image has the appearance of a bubble or cell, a characteristic of plasma. Inhomogeneous plasmas create optical effects.
      Gravitational lensing, ‘we think’.
      How many times have Hubble telescope articles contained the words ‘unexpectedly’ or ‘back to the drawing board’.
      Aye, the Universe is a Grand Mystery is it not.

  23. What amazes me here is, I see the exact same type of tactics and logic used in defense of climate science, used to defend this nonsense. One of the primary ones is complete exclusion of the most solid observational evidence, and instead interpretation of images with more than one explanation, used as “proof” of some kind.

  24. Furthermore. The logic of bending light is nonsense.
    Light will should should traverse ANY space time distortion, as space time is the path light must travel, so light must be affected by ANY space time distortion, Gravitational force is not in play, that is phase 1, it effects space time, phase 2 is light traveling that path along space time. This is Einstein’s work.. Gravitational force is Newton, and is incompatible in this respect, as Einstein’s theory directly opposes Newton’s. Einstein’s theory does not use forces, nor does it understand them, distortion of space time != force.
    With Einstein’s theory, all objects affect space-time curvature, all of them, because Gravity is not a two way attraction in Einstein’s theory, it is a static field when no objects are present and one object alone in this theory can create a space time distortion and therefor gravity, another object is not needed.
    So this means all objects create space time distortions.
    Space time is the road light must travel, it cannot travel outside of it, and if every object creates a distortion then every object must bend light. This is not true, as it is not observed.
    Mass of an object is irrelevant in Einstein’s theory as ALL objects MUST bent light
    With Newton’s theory, mass matters when considering gravitational effect.
    Thinking is hard mmkay

    • “Mass of an object is irrelevant in Einstein’s theory as ALL objects MUST bent light”
      Mass is relevant in Einstein’s theory because the curvature of spacetime depends on mass. Greater mass, greater curvature. Less mass, less curvature. So you can’t detect gravitational lensing if mass is not huge. You can detect it if light passes near a star as the curvature is greater near the center of mass. This is all known since 1915.

    • View this from the top of the atmosphere, ie change your position relative to the refraction source, and your ring disappears

    • and our position relative to refraction source, is why there is a distinct undeniable lack of Einstein rings in the sky.
      Einstein Rings are JUNK SCIENCE

  25. The main argument of the flat earth society is that you can clearly see things that should be obstructed by the earths curvature. But it is, f course, due to the refraction of light.

  26. If gravity bends light, wouldn’t that mean light has mass? If so, how then would light travel at the speed of light? It would take an infinite force to move any mass the speed of light. Lastly, if light doesn’t have mass, then gravity must have properties other than just working on mass. Gravity then must have an index of refraction if it bends light, or somehow distort light if it is a wave.Another issue is gravity accelerates things, can gravity accelerate light? If light has mass, why can’t gravity accelerate light? Things to ponder.

    • co2islife
      There is a gravitational red shift. Light has momentum of (energy/speed of light) but at constant speed.

      • That would explain light lengthening, but the graphic shows light bending, as if gravity has an index of refraction. What about gravity bends light?

    • There is no need to look at light in order to expose this as Pseudo science.
      All you have to do is understand Einstein’s theory, the theory that is the basis for much junk science.
      Space time is the path upon which everything in the universe must travel (if you believe in “space time”, personally I think the concept is NONSENSE).
      and it logically follows that if space time is distorted, and it is related to a mass present (any mass of any size as force is not a question to be answered), any mass of any size can alter the static field that is space time without mass present.
      It then follows that any distortion that is created, everything must follow that path because it is the ONLY route to take, unless you go outside of space time.
      It then follows that there MUST be light distortion created by every mass that distorts space time.
      It then follow that we MUST be able to observe this alteration of the light’s path from objects say, the mass of a human being.
      BOLLOCKS, space time is BOLLOCKs
      Space is the distance between predetermined coordinates on the x y and z axis, it is a CONCEPT, not a physical thing

    • There are (at least) two ways gravity can bend the path of light. One would be that light has mass. Another is that the space light moves through is being bent.
      General relativity posits that gravity bends space-time so that what would normally be a straight-line path is now curved. An object with mass would normally move in a straight line, and in flat space-time, this is true. In curved space-time, it normally moves in a curved path, and it takes force to move it away from that path. That’s what we perceive as the force of gravity.
      Light moves, pretty much by definition, along straight lines in space-time. But when you curve space-time, the path light considers “a straight line” is no longer what we see as straight. So light bends.
      Gravity doesn’t accelerate light. If you point a ray of light straight up, it loses energy as it moves upward. However, this loss of energy doesn’t show up as slowing down, but rather as a lengthening of the wave length. This can be measured in the lab using cobalt-57 gamma rays and the Mossbauer effect.

      • “One would be that light has mass.” if Light has mass it can’t go the speed of light. It takes an infinite force to move any mass the speed of light.
        How would light bend space without losing any of its energy?
        What is bending the light? If space is a vacuum, what is exerting the force to bend the light, especially if light doesn’t have mass?
        If light is lengthening, the lead end would be traveling faster than the speed of light as it stretches. If the lead end isn’t surpassing the speed of light, the light behind it must develop a blue tilt, or slow down, or both to compensate for the stretching.
        Once you stretch light, you have fewer photons per unit. Where did that energy go? Did it simply get backed up behind the new red light and a single beam of light can be viewed as red and blue depending of where you are observing it?
        Fascinating subject, any insight would be appreciated.

    • co2islife
      “If gravity bends light, wouldn’t that mean light has mass? If so, how then would light travel at the speed of light?”
      Is the speed of light the ultimate speed, or only the ultimate speed humanity knows of?
      We measure things by what we think we know, not by what we don’t know.
      And I contend, humanity knows little of what we don’t know.
      Speed of light? A convenient, known measurement against which we judge almost everything, until we discover something faster.
      Not that I’m telling you anything I’m sure you haven’t considered.
      Nor am I a scientist, I just like beer.

      • Theoretically, nothing can exceed the speed of light, especially if it has any mass at all. Things gain mass as they speed up, and at the speed of light mass goes to infinity, and it would take an infinite force to accelerate it beyond the speed of light.

  27. Remembering that we see here a 2D picture of 3D objects, the particular image does tempt the imagination to draw spiral arms so often seen in galaxy images, here added in pale yellow, roughly. It is almost certainly meaningless, but it does again show the power if the eye/brain system to make people want to see patterns.

  28. Relativity tells us that there is no absolute motion. But this fails to explain rotation. The is clearly an absolute rotation. Otherwise there would be no problem with the earth rotating thousands of times per second with respect to a distant galaxy.
    But the question then becomes. What mechanism allows rotation to be absolute over the vast distances involved.

  29. Without an explanation for absolute rotation, that apparently provides a common reference over the observed universe, a reasonable explanation for dark energy and dark matter is that they are a result of the absolute nature of rotation. Rotation at a galactic level is associated with dark matter. Perhaps rotation at the scale of the observed universe is dark energy.

  30. An interesting thought experiment is to apply the Einstein thought experiment for an elevator/gravity to rotation.
    What if you could sit at the heart of a rapidly spinning neutron star. Would the gravity of the star cause you to feel as though you were spinning if you were actually not spinning with respect to the rest of the universe. Mach’s principle?

  31. The ring appears in this photograph as distinctly more red, hence more distant, than the foreground galaxies. This is the best Einstein ring image yet.

  32. How much of our current view of the universe is potentially distorted by gravitational lensing?

  33. Dark matter, is considered as a discovery…..due to Newton’s physics.
    Dismissing, ignoring, mocking Newton’s physics, or trying to propagate as having better physics than that , it simply means “do please forget about Dark matter” and any clever method about it’s explanation, as that directly will confuse with the basic principle of this discovery.
    Whatever brilliant hypothesis or explanations there contemplated, none really matter, if or when Dark matter considered.,,,, as it consist as a discovery, due to a detection as per Newton’s physics.
    Dismissing or ignoring Newton simply means no Dark matter condition being there to contemplate in the first place.
    Second, ignoring Einstein means no any what so ever connection, or no any main needed connection to be consider between Dark matter and Dark energy.
    The most problematic condition in principle that happens to be, as The “m” in the famous Einstein’s equation means and clearly stands for mass and not for matter, when and when there is a very clear difference between matter and mass, as per Mendeleev’s atomic mass table of elements….
    In my superficial understanding, the Newton’s physics have a closer and more direct link and connection to energy than mass, even when considered that somehow by a given point, may be considered as far closer to the concept of matter.
    , the problem, as far as I can tell stands as for this point, in the simple approach, as simply as could be put,
    ‘Newton points out to some serious condition of a strange discovery, when in the same time, Einstein + Mendeleev do really falsify the actual astrophysics position on it, where and when Dark matter elevated to some special exotic and incredibly special status does not really make sense.
    Again Dark matter to be connected to the condition of it’s energy needs to be either observable, or below the meaning of matter or energy, as per Einstein and Mendeleev. And without the possibility of it’s defined point condition of it’s mass, it happens to be just a phony matter, regardless.

  34. According to Wikipedia: “The bending of light by a gravitational body was predicted by Albert Einstein in 1912, a few years before the publication of general relativity in 1916 (Renn et al. 1997)”. For me this physical phenomenon shows that Newton was right. The smallest part of light is a photon and it has a mass. So the gravitional force has en effect on this photon mass. Right? If would be odd, if a gravitional force would not have an efffect on another mass.

    • Ahh but einstein’s view is that gravity is a field that manipulates space and time. The “force” of gravity doesn’t cause the Earth to orbit the Sun, rather mass alters the space so that the earth is moving in a straight line through a curved space.

  35. Einstein explanation about the mechanism of the gravity may be better than that of Newton. During the Einstein’s time there were two persos (may be) who understood the theory of relativity. I confess that I do not do it. So, in this case the test that a large body bends the light’s part can be explained by the Newton’s theory as well.

    Miles notes that during a solar reversal the magnetism increases. This would agree with THE HYDRIDIC EARTH by V Larin as magnetism being created by the pressurized hydrogen within.
    My point being that there is no gravitational lensing as it is exuded hydrogen.

  37. Science as a whole is entering a crises, yet most scientists are unaware of it.
    Back when I studied science at the university, the definition for science I was taught severely limited the scope of what science could study. But already at that time, there were “scientists” who didn’t limit their pronouncements to stay within those limits, yet were calling what they said as “science”. Their actions show that the definition of what is science is itself changing, eventually will come to the point that the crises will be widely recognized.
    There is much that we don’t know, and the science that I was taught cannot answer, yet are treated as “scientific fact”. Is the speed of light constant, even in interstellar space? Science as I was taught cannot answer that, as we have no way to make such observations. But that belief is the basis for mathematical models such as Einstein’s Relativity Theory. What if the speed of light varies throughout the universe, what will it do to such mathematical models?
    I was taught modern, empirical, natural science. The reliance on models as “evidence” and deification of “scientists” is a reversion to pre-modern science. So which version of “science” will win out in the long run? How are the simultaneous presentations of conflicting versions of “science” not a crises?
    To give an example of taking belief as evidence is the question of luminous aether. Evidence as observed indicates that light is waves. There’s no example of wave propagation without a medium. If the speed of light is a constant, then that medium needs to be even and static. The Michelson Morley experiment disproved that theory concerning aether. But what if aether is lumpy, swirling and affected by gravity and/or magnetism? If that is true of aether, what does that say about the speed of light? Where the aether is thinner, could the speed of light be faster, even to an order of magnitude or two? Where the aether is thicker, such as around a large body gravitational / magnetic source, such as the sun, would it have a lensing effect, similar to the well-measured lensing effect of the atmosphere around the earth? If aether is affected by gravity, would that not indicate that aether itself exerts a gravitational force? Could that be the source of “dark matter”? The Michelson Morley experiment merely disproved one model of aether, not the concept of aether itself. I bring this up merely as an example of where an honest scientist needs to say “We don’t know.”
    The concept of lumpy, swirling aether can explain such Einsteinian theories as time-dilation, space-time warping, light lensing, possibly even gravity waves, and what else?
    How many other “scientific discoveries” are merely mathematical models? How is this not an indication of a crises in science itself?

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