Science & Tech

Going beyond Einstein

1 min read

Spacetime wave orbits black hole

Observations by two astronomers confirm one important theory about how a black hole’s extreme gravity can stretch light. The data also paint an intriguing image of how a spinning black hole can drag the very fabric of space around with it, creating a choppy spacetime sea that distorts everything falling into the black hole. Jon Miller and Jeroen Homan observed the phenomenon with NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. They presented their result at the 205th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, Calif. “Black holes are such extreme objects that they can actually warp and drag the fabric of spacetime around with them as they spin,” said Miller, who is the lead author on an article for The Astrophysical Journal Letters. “Gas whipping around the black hole has no choice but to ride that wave. Albert Einstein predicted this over 80 years ago, and now we are starting to see evidence for it.”