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Microlensing

Course video 39 of 80

Einstein’s theory of General Relativity tells us that mass curves space and deflects light. Thus, observations of light deflection can tell us about the distribution of mass. Microlensing observations use this effect to detect planets around distant stars. We discuss how these observations have shown us that planets are as common as stars and imply the existence of “orphan planets”, planets that were ejected by their Suns and are now wandering the Galaxy.

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