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gravitational deflection


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The bending of the path of a beam of light or any other electromagnetic radiation by the gravitational field of a body. The amount of bending depends on the mass of the body and how closely the beam of radiation passes it. The effect was first measured for stars close to the limb of the Sun at the total eclipse of 1919 May. The maximum deflection at the Sun's limb is 1″.75 radially away from the Sun. Gravitational deflection also results in highly distorted images of distant objects when a closer, massive object lies along the line of sight (see gravitational lens).

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.


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