Theory of relativity: Black hole confirms Albert Einstein

For the first time, astronomers have successfully tested Einstein's general theory of relativity on a black hole. They were able to prove the gravitational redshift.

Theory of relativity: Black hole confirms Albert Einstein

In center of Milky Way, astronomers have found anor confirmation for Albert Einstein's General Theory of relativity: for first time, y were able to prove gravitational redshift. The scientists of Reinhard Genzel from Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching near Munich had targeted star S2 and watched closely how he passed extremely massive black hole in center of our home galaxy (astronomy Astrophysics, 2018).

S2 round 26,000 light-years-distant, central black hole in center of Milky Way every 15 years. On its egg shaped railway it approaches black hole to 14 billion kilometers – that is roughly triple distance of outermost planet of our system, Neptune, to sun. The star becomes very fast, reaching a speed of more than 25 million kilometers per hour, almost three percent of speed of light. According to Einstein's ory, published more than 100 years ago, light of star should be somewhat reddered by strong gravitational force of black hole – wavelength of light is growing. The researchers have now observed exactly this effect with Very Large Telescope (VLT).

Astronomy What are black holes?

Almost 100 years ago, a ory was developed that put black holes on a sensible, mamatical basis for first time. In Sixties and seventies, calculations revealed important oretical findings about black holes.

Today it is assumed that black holes are so dense and rich in mass that not even light can escape m.

In this way, dust and gases from center of a galaxy are literally plunging into a black hole and releasing energy. One speaks of active galactic nucleus (AGN). This is also what makes black holes on images appear as flash points of light.

Black holes are invisible. You can only infer your existence based on impact on your environment.


There are two types of black holes: stellar black holes and super mass rich or even super massive black holes.

Stellar black holes are a consequence of stellar development. When a star explodes at end of his life as a supernova, remaining star rest can collapse into a black hole. These black holes have estimated eight to fifteen times mass of our sun.

The origin of supermassive black holes is unknown so far. The fact is that se millions to billions of times are heavier than our sun and, according to current knowledge, occur almost in every galaxy.

Space and Time

Black holes evoke an enormous curvature of space and time in ir surroundings. This curvature is so gigantic that radiation and particles that get too close to black hole disappear forever.

The discovery of this gravitational redshift was culmination of a 26-year observation campaign, which was shared by Max Planck Society. "We have been looking for a target for a decade and have prepared experiment," Genzel reported. "This is second time we've watched close-by flight of S2 around black hole in our galactic center. But this time we were able to track star due to significantly improved instrumentation with unprecedented detail resolution. " Co-author Stefan Gilles from Garching Institute adds: "With this we were able to trace star on its orbit extremely closely and finally prove gravitational redshift in spectrum of S2."

Date Of Update: 27 July 2018, 12:02

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