Hubble locates 67 galaxies that act as gravity lenses'

Astronomers claim to have discovered a rich diversity of at least 67 gravitational lenses around a number of massive elliptical and lenticular-shaped galaxies in the distant Universe, using the Hubble Space Telescope. The strong lensing produced by massive galaxies is much more common than the usual giant "arc' gravitationally lensed galaxies that Hubble has previously observed; but they are generally more difficult to find as they extend over a smaller area and have a wide variety of shapes, the NASA said. Gravitational lensing occurs when light travelling towards earth from a distant galaxy is magnified and distorted as it encounters a massive object. These gravitational lenses often allow astronomers to peer much further back into the early universe than they would normally be able to. The massive objects that create the lenses are usually huge clusters of massive galaxies. "We typically see the gravitational lens create a series of bright arcs or spots around a galaxy cluster. What we are observing here is a similar effect but on much smaller scale