Astronomers have been observing a star near the black hole for 20 years and seeing something remarkable

Astronomers have been observing a star near the black hole for 20 years and seeing something remarkable

How to make the black hole visible? Astronomers have been photographing a star near the Milky Way’s central black hole for 20 years and watching the star dance around Sagittarius A *.

The S2 star can be seen in the center of the photo. The star is located 26,000 light-years from Earth. You can clearly see the star accelerating at certain times and dancing around the black hole in time. At that time, the speed of this star was 25 million kilometers per hour. This is 7,000 kilometers per second or 3% of the speed of light. Suppose you have to travel from Earth to the Sun at this speed, a one-way journey is only six hours.

The deadline below is ESO’s Largest Telescope (VLT) and Released in 2018. The black hole is not visible in the photo. However, if you follow the S2 star, you will know where this black hole is lurking.

This is the first time that scientists have tested Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity near a black hole. “Einstein’s general theory of relativity does not close the orbit of an object by Newton’s theory of gravity, but keeps it moving forward,” said researcher Reinhard Jensel. This means that the location of the closest approach to the giant black hole changes with each orbit. This creates a rosette shape that is easy to see In this video. “We now see this effect in the motion of a star orbiting a small radio source called Sagittarius A * in the center of the Milky Way.

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Our Sun also orbits the center of the Milky Way – hence the central black hole – but our parent star will take longer than the S2 star. Every 230 million years, the Sun completes a complete circle. When the Earth was finally in its current state of the Milky Way, the first dinosaurs walked on Earth’s surface.

In the animated video below, the orbit of the S2 star is yellow. See also the orbits of other stars.

Scientists hope to find flying stars near black holes in the future. “If we’re lucky, we can see the stars so close that we can feel the rotation of the black hole,” says Andreas Accord. From the University of Cologne. “This will take the relativity test to a whole new level.”

Over the past decades, space telescopes and satellites have captured beautiful images of nebulae, galaxies, star nurseries and planets. Every weekend we remove one or more interesting space photos from the archive. Enjoy all the photos? Look at them On this page.

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