# challenge for the physics community

#### phillip1882

i was seriously considering just letting this go, but i just can't.
i have several questions. let's assume for the sake of argument that that is a picture of warped space.
can you explain why its around the galaxy as a whole, rather than individual stars?
can you explain why it's not being warped in the third dimension?
can you explain why a similar picture doesn't occur around all galaxies?

#### topsquark

Math Team
i was seriously considering just letting this go, but i just can't.
i have several questions. let's assume for the sake of argument that that is a picture of warped space.
can you explain why its around the galaxy as a whole, rather than individual stars?
can you explain why it's not being warped in the third dimension?
can you explain why a similar picture doesn't occur around all galaxies?
The bending of starlight near a stellar mass is fairly small. It's only around the larger masses that the effect is strong, so you would expect it to occur to bend light around a galaxy. That's not to say that it doesn't happen with individual stars. It's just much much harder to measure.

Ummm...The bending of light that the picture shows is a 3D effect. The light clearly bends around the galaxy to make a full circle. We only see it as a circle in images, it really has the shape of a cone.

You have to be in just the right location to see the effect. The only reason we see so many examples is because of how many galaxies are out there. It's potluck.

-Dan

#### phillip1882

okay then. thank you.

#### phillip1882

i'm sorry but i have more questions now.
The bending of starlight near a stellar mass is fairly small. It's only around the larger masses that the effect is strong, so you would expect it to occur to bend light around a galaxy. That's not to say that it doesn't happen with individual stars. It's just much much harder to measure.
i mean i agree with you, if matter does warp space, larger masses should result in larger warps. but a galaxy isn't a large mass. its many small masses.
Ummm...The bending of light that the picture shows is a 3D effect. The light clearly bends around the galaxy to make a full circle. We only see it as a circle in images, it really has the shape of a cone.
i agree that it's warping left to right, back to front, but its not warping top to bottom.
You have to be in just the right location to see the effect. The only reason we see so many examples is because of how many galaxies are out there.
but that's part of my point, if warped space occurs in 3 -4 diamentions, you should see warped space no matter the direction.

#### topsquark

Math Team
We see the ring of light around the galaxies but we can't see it around the individual stars because it gets washed out by the light from all the light coming out of the galaxy inside the ring.

If it didn't warp up and down then we wouldn't see a ring we'd only see two points (or galaxies or whatever we see behind the "warping" galaxy.)

Like I said we only see the effect if things line up just right. That can happen in any direction, and I haven't heard that there is any kind of limitation due to direction, but we have to have everything just right so we don't always see it in all directions.

-Dan

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