In 1919 the gravitational lensing by the Sun has been observed during a total solar eclipse. Did someone observe the lensing in any other total eclipses? Last year there was a total eclipse in Chile and there were many scientists observing it. Did they see the stars in different places too? I mean, today it must be even easier to observe it with current telescopes or something. But there is no mention of any other observations than the one in 1919, is there?

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    $\begingroup$ More interesting variant of this question: are there any historical images from before Einstein made his prediction that show gravitational lensing? $\endgroup$
    – Barmar
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


Yes, observations of this kind are within the technical scope of amateur astronomers. Several groups succeeded in replicating the experiment during the 2017 eclipse that crossed the USA.

For example Donald Bruns measured deflections of multiple stars.

Nasa published a "How To" page for anyone wanting to test GR themselves.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice. It must be a wonderful feeling to be able to test such an important theory, right in your backyard, with some reasonably affordable equipment. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ Does it mean that gravitation indeed is a curvature of spacetime rather than a force? $\endgroup$
    – user30007
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ @user30007: Where have you been for the last 100 years? $\endgroup$
    – TonyK
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ @user30007 it's not that one is right and the other is wrong, they both explain some things and don't explain other things. General relativity explains more than Newtonian gravitation does, though (by a wide margin) $\endgroup$
    – llama
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ @user30007: Newton's theory has been thoroughly superseded by Einstein's theory. When the two theories disagree, it is always Newton's theory that is wrong. Newton's theory is still used today because (i) it is accurate enough for most practical purposes (but not GPS satellites), and (ii) it is easier to calculate with. But it is only an approximation. $\endgroup$
    – TonyK
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 17:31

As colleague James K explains in his reply, amateur astronomer Donald Bruns repeated Eddington's 1919 observation during the August 21, 2017 solar eclipse.

For anyone who wants to check out the details, his methodology, observation execution and results are published in the technical article: Gravitational Starlight Deflection Measurements during the 21 August 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

Best regards


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