Sci/Tech Insanely fast star puts Einstein’s theory to the test

tom_mai78101

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The discovery of a star racing around the Milky Way galaxy's central black hole could be crucial to revealing the fabric of space and time around black holes—and may allow scientists to test Einstein's theory of relativity.

It’s the shortest known orbit of any star near this black hole. The previous record-holding star, known as S0-2 (The star with the yellow orbit in the GIF animation), orbits in 16 years.

The newly discovered star, known as S0-102 (the “S” is for Sagittarius, the constellation containing the galactic center and the black hole, the star with the dark pink orbit in the GIF animation), could offer a unique opportunity to test Einstein’s theory of general relativity, says Tuan Do, an astronomer at the University of Toronto’s Dunlap Institute and a member of the team that made the discovery. They report their findings in Science.

Read more here.
 

Dan

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S016 looks closer to me. XD
 

phyrex1an

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S016 looks closer to me. XD
It's not about how close the stars are, nor about how fast they travel. It's how long it takes for them to complete a full orbit that's interesting. You need to observe several (or at least one and a half) full orbits before you can measure the precession.

Btw, our sun completes a full orbit in ~250000000 years. Kinda long compared with the 11.5 years of S0-102 :p
 
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camelCase

The Case of the Mysterious Camel.
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Pretty pictures!
The Universe suddenly seems much smaller =/

I had no idea we could even track stars near the center of our Galaxy or know how long our Sun takes to orbit. Damn, this means that the Sun has gone round the center of the Galaxy a few times since the Earth was created ;O

Damnnnn
 

Dan

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It's not about how close the stars are, nor about how fast they travel. It's how long it takes for them to complete a full orbit that's interesting. You need to observe several (or at least one and a half) full orbits before you can measure the precession.

Btw, our sun completes a full orbit in ~250000000 years. Kinda long compared with the 11.5 years of S0-102 :p
I see. Still though, enough momentum will keep a star that goes super close to a black hole in tact? I always thought that if you orbited close enough to a black hole that you would get shredded.
 

FireCat

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I see. Still though, enough momentum will keep a star that goes super close to a black hole in tact? I always thought that if you orbited close enough to a black hole that you would get shredded.
It might not be a real "black hole". A fake one?
 

Dan

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FireCat, you're a black hole of knowledge.
 

Varine

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I see. Still though, enough momentum will keep a star that goes super close to a black hole in tact? I always thought that if you orbited close enough to a black hole that you would get shredded.
Only if it passes the event horizon. It might be possible that these stars are in such extreme circumstances, they manage to violate the laws governing physics, but most likely they're just getting thrown around the ergosphere.
 

Varine

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It spits out cosmic rays, so I imagined FireCat as a superhero.

*shudders*
Or really sick. Maybe he's in a terminal cancer ward and that's why he won't tell us anything about himself. Or a test subject....
 

FireCat

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Oh dear ^
But seriously, If a black hole existed, why doesn't it suck up, all the matter in the Universe?
Don't be so Curious, Varine!
 

Varine

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Vault 87?
Not entirely sure what that is. From Fallout right? (I never really played that series).

But seriously, If a black hole existed, why doesn't it suck up, all the matter in the Universe?
Are you serious dude? We JUST had this conversation in another thread....
 
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