Why cannot we observe gravitational lensing in the local Universe...

… of the kind we readily observe at cosmological scales, where big-ass galaxies create pronounced arcs and Einstein rings of far-in-the-background galaxies? I am sure Andromeda, with over a trillion stars, masks a fairish number of background galaxies, and has the gravitational heft to create these cool lighting effects. Or does it?

Do we have to be a certain distance away from the gravitational pit to see these cool curves?

Gravitational lensing can be seen in light passing by Sol. And certainly by galaxy sized objects.

Also, “local universe?” I mean, that usually refers to an unfathomably large region of space containing billions of galaxies, or is used to refer to the entire observable universe (as opposed to, say, a “split” universe in many worlds). Did you mean local star system?

Graviational Microlensing

Using microlensing data, paper showing exoplanets present around most of the stars in the Milky Way:


At the right distancethe gravitational lensing effect of the sun can be used as a huge telescope.

By “local universe” I meant the region out to a few dozens of millions of LY away, as opposed to “cosmological distances” which is hundreds of millions to billions of LY away. More or less conformant with the general usage of these terms in the popular press.

Also, would a single star system have enough heft to create pronounced lensing curves of far larger background objects?

See the beginning of what Der Trihs quoted - the “focal length” of the Sun’s gravitational lensing of parallel rays of light from distant objects is 542 AU.