Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity about the idea that gravity is a substance that distorts time has faced more than 100 years of scrutiny, but a new discovery may help support the physicist’s hypothesis, as researchers at the University of Arizona unveiled a “shadow” cast by the supermassive black hole, known as M87, Which proves Einstein’s authenticity
According to the British newspaper “Daily Mail”, the team found the intense gravitational pull of the curved spacetime of the black hole, thus acting as a magnifying lens and causing the shadow of the black hole to appear larger. The researchers said that they found that the size of the black hole’s shadow corresponds to the size predicted by the mathematics of general relativity During measuring this deformation.
Perhaps nearly a century ago during the solar eclipse of 1919, Sir Arthur Eddington noted that the first evidence of general relativity was in the displacement of starlight seen traveling along the curvature of space-time caused by the sun’s gravity.
For the latest study, the researchers analyzed images of the black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, which is 53.49 million light-years from Earth, to test Einstein’s theory.
And this specific black hole is the same that the researchers used with Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) To create the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019, which is projected as a fiery ring of gas around a dark center.
The image was obtained through a network of eight high-altitude telescopes around the world, as part of a project EHTAnd, although the black hole does not emit light, it is surrounded by a hot disk that emits gas around the event horizon, which produces a shadow effect.
The first results revealed that the size of the black hole’s shadow corresponds to the size predicted by general relativity, said Michael Kramer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and a collaboration member. EHT: “Black hole images provide a whole new angle for testing Einstein’s general theory of relativity.”
But the team realizes that the gravitational theory test does not stop here and will do more work to answer a number of questions, including: Are general relativity predictions for different astrophysical objects good enough for astrophysicists not to worry about any possible differences or modifications to general relativity?
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