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The first detection of the Schwarzschild precession in the orbit of the star S2

4 Aug 2020, 16:34 UTC
The first detection of the Schwarzschild precession in the orbit  of the star S2
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This guest post was written by Sai Zhai, a first-year graduate student at Nanjing University, where she studies the formation and evolution of galaxies. In her spare time, she enjoys running and traveling with friends.

Title: Detection of the Schwarzschild precession in the orbit of the star S2 near the Galactic centre massive black hole Authors: GRAVITY Collaboration Status: Accepted to A&A, open access on arXiv Over many decades, Einstein’s theory of general relativity (GR) has been confirmed by multiple tests, including the precession of Mercury’s orbit, emissions from the double pulsar PSR J0737−3039, and gravitational waves detected by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO).Theoretically, GR predicts the existence of a black hole in the center of our galaxy. There is a lot of evidence showing that galaxies host massive central black holes, such as the relativistically broadened, redshifted iron Kα emission line seen in nearby Seyfert galaxies, high resolution millimeter imaging from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), and the atypical movements of stars close to the black hole candidate at the center of the Milky Way. In the last case, the precession of a star’s pericenter angle caused by the central supermassive black hole is called Schwarzschild precession (SP).

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