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Science. 2019 Aug 16;365(6454):664-668. doi: 10.1126/science.aav8137. Epub 2019 Jul 25.

Relativistic redshift of the star S0-2 orbiting the Galactic Center supermassive black hole.

Author information

1
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. tdo@astro.ucla.edu.
2
Sytèmes de Référence Temps Espace, Observatoire de Paris, Université Paris-Sciences-et-Lettres, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Sorbonne Université, Laboratoire National de Métrologie et d'Essais, 61 Avenue de l'Observatoire, 75014 Paris, France.
3
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
4
Department of Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.
5
Universities Space Research Association/Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, NASA Ames Research Center, Mail Stop N232-12, Moffet Field, CA 94035, USA.
6
Division of Physics, Mathematics, and Astronomy, California Institute of Technology, MC 301-17, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
7
Faculty of Education, Miyagi University of Education, 149 Aramaki-aza-aoba, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-0845, Japan.
8
W. M. Keck Observatory, 65-1120 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela, HI 96743, USA.
9
Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, 414 Rue de la Piscine, 38400 Saint-Martin-d'Héres, France.
10
Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Glorieta de la Astronomía S/N, 18008 Granada, Spain.
11
European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2,85748 Garching bei München, Germany.
12
Center for Cosmology and Particle Physics, New York University, 726 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, USA.
13
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
14
Department of Computational Mathematics, Science, and Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.
15
Mani L. Bhaumik Institute for Theoretical Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
16
Faculty of Liberal Arts, Daido University, 10-3 Takiharu-cho, Minami-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 457-8530, Japan.
17
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Aichi University of Education, 1 Hirosawa, Igaya-cho, Kariya, Aichi 448-8542, Japan.
18
National Institute of Technology, Wakayama College, 77 Noshima, Nada-cho, Gobo, Wakayama 644-0023, Japan.
19
Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn, Germany.

Abstract

The general theory of relativity predicts that a star passing close to a supermassive black hole should exhibit a relativistic redshift. In this study, we used observations of the Galactic Center star S0-2 to test this prediction. We combined existing spectroscopic and astrometric measurements from 1995-2017, which cover S0-2's 16-year orbit, with measurements from March to September 2018, which cover three events during S0-2's closest approach to the black hole. We detected a combination of special relativistic and gravitational redshift, quantified using the redshift parameter ϒ. Our result, ϒ = 0.88 ± 0.17, is consistent with general relativity (ϒ = 1) and excludes a Newtonian model (ϒ = 0) with a statistical significance of 5σ.

PMID:
31346138
DOI:
10.1126/science.aav8137

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