I have seen real photos of gravitational lensing caused by galaxies or Galaxy clusters and I have seen artistic photos of gravitational lensing caused by black holes.

But I am not sure if I have ever seen real pictures of gravitational lensing caused by black holes. Is that because they don't exist? (The event horizon telescope is planning on changing that) or because I didn't search enough? Could you link me to some if they do exist?


I have taken this from Quasar & Black Holes: Wikipedia

A quasar consists of a supermassive black hole surrounded by an orbiting accretion disk of gas. As gas in the accretion disk falls toward the black hole, energy is released in the form of electromagnetic radiation.

enter image description here

An image of a foreground quasar (blue) lensing a background galaxy (red) taken with the Keck II telescope.

Credit: F. Courbin/S. G. Djorgovski/G. Meylan/Caltech/EPFL/WMKO

As Photo Source: Space.com

So, this is lensing caused by a black hole, which is surrounded by an accretion disc.

If you are looking for lensing caused by a black hole without an accretion disc, this is, as far as I know, very unlikely to be imaged.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much. We hope that the Event horizon telescope will change that. $\endgroup$ – Bill Jul 19 '17 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ There are cooler pics, all four images in an Einstein cross, or that one where there is a new image predicted to appear in a year or so due to light-time path differences, or even the one with the 20x magnification where the have used lensing as an actual telescope to resolve true images beyond the observing telescope's limit... search ArXiv for "Lensed Galaxy SDSS J1110 = 6459" $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 20 '17 at 11:59

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