GRE Reading Comprehension: JiJing 352-GRE阅读机经352篇 - G7WVC22Y5J44SI6AK

Astronomers studying a certain kind of supernova (exploding star) were surprised to find the supernovas were fainter than expected. Seeking explanations, they discounted the possibility that cosmic dust might be screening out some of the light, because it would filter out blue light more than red, causing the supernovas to appear redder than they really are. Also, unless spread very smoothly throughout space, the dust would introduce large variations in the measurements. Another possibility is gravitational lensing, the bending of light rays as they skirt galaxies en route. Such lensing occasionally causes brightening, but most often it contributes to the dimness of distant supernovas. Calculations show, however, that this effect becomes important only for sources more distant than the supernovas studied.