Friday, August 11, 2017


Article Written By: Kyle Tam


 A group of astronomers in Germany and the Czech Republic observing three stars in a cluster near the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has confirmed Einstein's Theory of General Relativity once again.
 By tracking how the stars moved around the humongous black hole, slight deviations were observed in one of the stars' orbits that indicated relativistic effects. General relativity states that massive objects bend the space around them, causing other objects to deviate from their original paths. If the observations are confirmed by the scientific community, then this shows that general relativity would apply even under extreme conditions - such as in gravity fields produced by a galaxy's black hole (which in this case contains approximately the mass of 4 million suns).
 Unlike typical observations, the stars in this case are so close to the black hole that they move at around 1 to 2 percent the speed of light. Pass observations such as examinations of the planet Mercury's orbit in the 19th century provided evidence to support Einstein's theory of general relativity, however the sun's gravity in these earlier observations pales in comparison to the power of a supermassive black hole.
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Photo: Orbits of three stars at centre of Milky Way via ESO/M. Parsa/L. Calçada

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