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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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Mar 25th 2013 new

Yes Marianne, this is supposedly the main reason light bends. The other reason is that under very strong gravitational force, like that close to a massive object like a star, even the fabric of space bends. Yes you read correct, space itself can bend and twist. Space is not nothing but something. Isn't it cool?

Mar 25th 2013 new

(Quote) Cory-789423 said: I've read a few theoretical physics books and while most of it makes sense, other part...
(Quote) Cory-789423 said:

I've read a few theoretical physics books and while most of it makes sense, other parts are tough to wrap my mind around and gravitational lensing is one of them. Like, how do scientists know if light is being bent by gravity? Can they detect a shift in wavelengths perhaps?

One way they see the effects of gravitational lensing is when a star passes by another star, which happens quite often in the center of galaxies with a enormous black hole in the center. In such a region stars close to the black hole orbits around it with high velocities (one revolution per year or less) and when one star overlaps the orbit of another star astronomers can see how the image of the star furthest back gets distorted.

An explanation of why this occur is this: light is really waves in the electromagnetic field. If you imagine such a wave passing by a star the wave fronts closest to the star gets pulled closer together and subsequently the wave fronts on the other side gets pulled apart. If you try to draw this picture on a paper you'll see the wave curve which is known as gravitational lensing.

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