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"I've been very obsessive about writing science fiction for far too many years. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have given up years ago."
- Charles Stross

Gravity Lens  
  An optical lens created using the lightbending properties of gravity.  

The classic experiment to demonstrate the lightbending properties of large masses was performed in 1919. And in 1936, Albert Einstein published a further prediction that immense gravitational fields would bend and focus light as an optical lens would.

Finally, you can get the same effect without a solar-sized mass.

"How do you like my telescope?"

Alice said "The whole sky?"

"It's a gravity lens ... You know that a gravity field bends light? Good. I can make a field that warps light into a focus. It's lenticular, shaped like a red blood platelet.

From Protector, by Larry Niven.
Published by Del Rey in 1973
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  - A First: Planet Found With Gravitational Microlensing

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