There are several different classifications of gravitational lensing phenomenon.

Here I am asking for any examples of strong lensing where the lensed image of an extended object is magnified and recognizable as an extended object. Of course it may be distorted somewhat, but if the lensed object is a galaxy, then the lensed image should appear larger and "galaxy-shaped" even though distorted. If it's a tight pattern of stars or other objects, then the pattern should be larger.

I have a strong memory of reading about such a case in Nature or Science within the last few years, but I can not find it. I believe that the nearer, lensing object was a galaxy.


1 Answer 1


There are actually quite a few examples of this. A particularly nice one, where you can see star-forming substructure within the distant, lensed galaxy (the extended, vertical "snake" structure just right of center), is this HST image:

HST image of background galaxy lensed by cluster MACSJ1206.2-0847

This is another HST-based example, in which the same background galaxy is lensed multiple times (indicated by white ovals) by an intervening galaxy cluster, with a reconstruction of the background galaxy in undistorted form shown in the lower-left:

enter image description here https://www.space.com/14481-hubble-photo-brightest-galaxy-gravitational-lens.html

People have even obtained spatial resolved spectroscopy within the lensed galaxies, as discussed in this paper (which includes spectroscopy of the first lensed galaxy pictured above).


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