ESO’s giant telescope in Chile watched a star dance around the huge black hole in the center of the Milky Way; Proves Einstein was right

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This long-sought result has been made possible by increasingly accurate measurements for close to thirty years, which have allowed scientists to decipher the mysteries of the monster lurking in the heart of our galaxy.

Observations made using the very large Southern European Observatory (ESO) telescope (VLT) revealed for the first time that a star orbiting the massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way moves exactly as Einstein predicted in its general relativity. His orbit is in the form of a rosette rather than an ellipse, as Newton predicted in his theory of gravity. Figure: ESO

Observations made using The very large telescope (VLT) Of the Southern European Observatory (ESO) Discovered for the first time that a star orbiting the massive black hole in the center of the Milky Way moves exactly as Einstein predicted in his general theory of relativity. His orbit is in the form of a rosette rather than an ellipse, as Newton predicted in his theory of gravity. This long-sought result has been made possible by increasingly accurate measurements for close to thirty years, which have allowed scientists to decipher the mysteries of the monster lurking in the heart of our galaxy.

“Einstein’s general theory of relativity predicts that related orbits of one object around another are not closed, as in Newtonian gravity, but take (change direction) forward in the plane of motion. This famous effect – first seen in the orbit of a solar star – was the first proof of relativity A hundred years later, we discovered the same effect in the motion of a star that surrounds the source of concentrated Sagitarius (Sagittarius) radio broadcasting * The area where the black hole is in the center of the Milky Way, this observational breakthrough reinforces the proof that Sagittarius A * must be a black hole on – Massive with a mass 4 million times the mass of the sun, Reinhard Gantzel says Manage at the Max Planck Institute for Physics Abroad (MPE in Graching Germany and the planner of the thirty-year program that led to this result

Sagittarius A *, which is 26,000 light-years from the sun and the dense cluster of stars around it, provides a unique physics experiment in an extreme regime and has not been otherwise explored by gravity. One of these 2S stars moves toward the massive black hole for a distance of less than 20 billion kilometers (according to 122 from the distance between the sun and the earth and this makes it one of the closest stars ever found in orbit around the massive black hole in its closest proximity to the 2S black hole, moving in space almost three percent of the speed of light and completing the coffee every 16 years “after tracking the star in its orbit From two and a half decades, our excellent measurements firmly reveal N. Japheth Schwarzschild of its orbit 2S around Sagittarius A * “, says Stefan Gilsn from MPE, who led the analysis of the measurements published today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Most of the stars and planets have a non-circular orbit so they approach and move away from the body around them. The 2S trajectory is oblique, meaning the location of its closest point to the supermassive black hole changes with each turn, so the next trajectory is rotated relative to the previous one, forming a rosette shape. General relativity provides accurate prediction of the degree of change of trajectory and the latest measurements from this study fit the theory accurately. This effect, known as Schwarzschild’s orbit, was never measured before for a star around a massive black hole of the type found in the center of each galaxy.

Research using the ESO VLT also helps scientists learn more about the environment of the massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. “Because 2S measurements fit so well in general relativity we can set stricter limits on the amount of invisible material such as scattered dark matter or perhaps smaller black holes found around Sagitarius A *. It is of great interest to understand the formation and evolution of black holes on – Massive say Gee Perrin and Karin Pro are the leading scientists of the project in France.

This results in the culmination of 27 years of observation of the 2S star using, for the most part, a fleet of ESO VLT devices found in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The number of data indicating the location and velocity of the star indicates the thoroughness and accuracy of the new study: the team made a total of more than 330 measurements, using the GRAVITY, SINFONI and NACO instruments. Because it takes 2S years to orbit the massive black hole, it has been essential to follow the star for close to three decades to reveal the intricacies of its orbital motion.

The study was conducted by an international team led by Frank Eisenhower of MPE with collaborators from France, Portugal, Germany and ESO. The team created the GRAVITY collaboration, named after the device they developed for the VLT infrometer, which integrates the light of all four telescopes 8 meters of VLT to a telescope on (with a resolution equivalent to a 130-meter telescope.) The same team reported in 2018 another effect that predicted general relativity: They saw that the 2S light was stretched to longer wavelengths as the star moved closer to the Sagittarius A * . ”Our previous result showed that the light emitted from the star experienced general relativity. Now we have shown that the star itself feels the effects of general relativity, “says Paulo Garcia, a researcher at Portugal’s Center for Astrophysics and Gravity and one of the leading scientists of the GRAVITY project.

Using the exceptionally large ESO telescope, ESO’s next telescope, the team believes it will be able to see much weaker stars with an orbit even closer to the massive black hole. “If we’re lucky we might catch stars that are close enough to feel the spinning round of the black hole, Andrews Eckert of Cologne University says another leading scientist of the project means astronomers can measure both the vertices and masses that characterize Sagitarius A * and define space and time around it.” It will again be a whole different level of relativity experimentation, ”Eckert says.

For information on the ESO website

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