Artist's impression of the effect of general relativity on the orbit of the S2 star at the Galactic Centre

This artist's impression shows part of the orbit of one of the stars very close to the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Analysis of data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope and other telescopes suggests that the orbits of these stars may show the subtle effects predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity. There are hints that the orbit of this star, called S2, is deviating slightly from the path calculated using classical physics.

This close-up of the orbit of star S2 shows how the path of the star is slightly different when it passed the same part of its orbit for the second time, 15 years later, due to the effects of general relativity.

Credit:

ESO/M. Parsa/L. Calçada

About the Image

Id:ann17051b
Type:Artwork
Release date:9 August 2017, 12:00
Related announcements:ann17051
Size:3840 x 2160 px

About the Object

Name:Milky Way Galactic Centre
Type:Milky Way : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole
Category:Illustrations

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