Einstein Is Right Again: General Relativity Passes The Black Hole Test

in steempress •  4 months ago

Not long ago in 2015, the LIGO team announced to have detected the Gravitational Waves that Einstein had predicted exactly a hundred years ago. Such was a genius of Einstein. The greatest physicist of all time!!!

Recently the Very Large Telescope(VLT) team in Chile announced to have proved the Gravitational Redshift phenomenon predicted by Einstein with his General Theory of Relativity in 1915.

According to Einstein's General Relativity when a star passes nearby a Black Hole, the intense gravitational pull of the Black Hole stretches the light waves to longer wavelengths and this phenomenon is called Gravitational Redshift. Which means the light waves are shifted from colors of shorter wavelengths to red color(longer wavelength).

The below video by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) details about the whole findings. Observe how the color of the star changes to red while passing by the Black Hole.

The team carefully observed the happenings around the star S2, that was passing through by the intense gravitational pull of the supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*(million times as massive as our sun) at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. The star comes close to the black hole every 16 years. The team was tracking the trajectory of the star for a long time and was sure that on 19th May 2018 it will pass come very close to the Black Hole.



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When the star passed by the Sagittarius A*, the star S2 reached an astonishing velocity of 8000 km/s which is 2.7% of the speed of light. The Very Large Telescope observed that the light waves of the star really stretched to longer wavelengths confirming the validity of Einstein's prediction of Gravitational Redshift. The result was reported immediately in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

Gravitational Shift occurs when light photons try to escape the gravitational pull of the Black Hole. To escape the pull the light photons should spend some energy.

But since the speed of light is constant, it is not possible to spend the energy with a change in the speed of the photons. Instead, the energy loss is compensated in the increase of the wavelength.

This finding may open doors for new domains in Astronomy. As not many experiments on the laws of physics are done outside the galaxy, it becomes obvious to prove these laws outside the solar system too(especially in extreme regions of space like Black Holes) in order to make these laws universal and call them truly "Laws of Nature".

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