Okay – so how can light be bent? Is light affected by gravity somehow?? Yes and no, with all of the blame for this on Einstein and the Theory of General Relativity. According to that Theory the effect we feel as weight from gravity is no different than the weight effect we feel from acceleration. What we are experiencing, what we know as weight and gravitational effects, is actually the effect caused by the bending of spacetime. So rather than a galaxy’s massive gravitational attraction causing the passing light to curve its path it is the curvature or bending of spacetime that causes light to curve from its straight path as it passes by an object such as a massive galaxy.
Training, as is the case for these projects, requires that you register or sign in if a previous participant. Once signed in there is a tutorial that will guide you through the process of using a series of images and what to look for as well as how to mark any possible gravitational lensing situations on the images. Once the brief tutorial is completed you start examining images for what looks like a gravitational lens situation. That area is marked and submitted for further analysis and possible confirmation.
Click here to go to the Spacewarps web site.
Click here to go to the main Zooninverse web site.
Click here to read an interesting press release about the Hubble Space Telescope and a “Cartoon of a Space Invader”
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information.