Einstein’s General Relativity Theory Proved Right Once More by Star Orbiting a Black Hole

Yes, looking far away into the depths of the galaxy and figuring out how cosmic objects are working is great. But how about reaching such milestones a century ago, when humanity had a lot fewer tools than it has now? At least one man proved that it’s possible, and you might have heard about his name: Albert Einstein.

Einstein’s work revolutionized physics forever. His General Relativity Theory was developed between 1907 and 1915, and it changed the definition of gravity. The majestic scientist perceived gravity not as an invisible force that makes objects to attract each other, but as a curving or warping of space. The more massive an object is, the more it warps the space around it.

A star orbits Sagittarius A

Astronomers using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile’s Atacama Desert spotted something amazing for the first time: a star was orbiting the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A from the center of our galaxy. Furthermore, the star was revolving by a predicted pattern of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.

Reinhard Genzel, the director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, said:

Einstein’s General Relativity predicts that bound orbits of one object around another are not closed, as in Newtonian Gravity, but precess forwards in the plane of motion. This famous effect — first seen in the orbit of the planet Mercury around the Sun — was the first evidence in favor of General Relativity,

At its closest approach, the star is ‘only’ about 20 billion kilometers from the supermassive black hole present at the heart of the Milky Way. This is one of the closest stars observed to be orbiting the black hole. The researchers had been studying the star for decades in order to conclude its pattern.

The study was published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.


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