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Margarita Safonova

Gravitational Lensing and Microlensing in Clusters: Clusters as Dark Matter Telescopes

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Mots-clés : agrégats de galaxies, astronomie, astrophysique, effet de lentille, extragalactique


Gravitational lensing is brightening of background objects due to deflection of light by foreground sources. Rich clusters of galaxies are very effective lenses because they are centrally concentrated. Such natural Gravitational Telescopes provide us with strongly magnified galaxies at high redshifts otherwise too faint to be detected or analyzed. With a lensing boost, we can study galaxies shining at the end of the “Dark Ages”. We propose to exploit the opportunity provided by the large field of view and depth, to search for sources magnified by foreground clusters in the vicinity of the cluster critical curves, where enhancements can be of several tens in brightness. Another aspect is microlensing (ML), where we would like to continue our survey of a number of Galactic globular clusters over time-scales of weeks to years to search for ML events from planets to hypothesized central intermediate-mass black holes (IMBH).

Keywords : astronomy, astrophysics, extragalactic, galaxy cluters, lensing

To cite this article

Margarita Safonova, «Gravitational Lensing and Microlensing in Clusters: Clusters as Dark Matter Telescopes», Bulletin de la Société Royale des Sciences de Liège [En ligne], Volume 87 - Année 2018, Actes de colloques, First Belgo-Indian Network for Astronomy & Astrophysics (BINA) workshop - November 2016 - Nainital, India, 360 - 364 URL :

About: Margarita Safonova

Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore 560034, India,