Capturing a Complete Orbit of a Star

Client: National Science Foundation

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Capturing a Complete Orbit of a Star

More than 100 years after Albert Einstein published his iconic theory of general relativity, it is beginning to fray at the edges, said Andrea Ghez, UCLA professor of physics and astronomy. Now, in the most comprehensive test of general relativity near the monstrous black hole at the center of our galaxy, Ghez and her research team report July 25 in the journal Science that Einstein’s theory of general relativity holds up.

“Einstein’s right, at least for now,” said Ghez, a co-lead author of the research. “We can absolutely rule out Newton’s law of gravity. Our observations are consistent with Einstein’s theory of general relativity. However, his theory is definitely showing vulnerability. It cannot fully explain gravity inside a black hole, and at some point we will need to move beyond Einstein’s theory to a more comprehensive theory of gravity that explains what a black hole is.”

Credit: © Zina Deretsky, Michel Bohbot, National Science Foundation

Zina Deretsky is a very talented artist who is skillful at creating attractive and visually compelling images that do an excellent job of conveying complex scientific concepts in a way that’s easy for a general audience to understand and appreciate!  In addition, she’s a hard worker who is very easy to work with, who wants her work to be as useful as possible and who is very open to hearing new ideas about the art she designs.  Working with her is both productive and a real pleasure.”

Stuart Wolpert

UCLA Senior Media Relations Representative