MadSci Network: Astronomy

Re: How do you measure the 'bend' or 'dip' in space-time?

Date: Sun May 14 14:02:42 2006
Posted By: Bryan Dunne, Instructor, Astronomy, University of Illinois
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 1139878596.As

A common way to measure the "bend" in spacetime caused by a massive object is to measure how much light rays are deflected when passing by a massive object.

This effect was observed in the solar eclipse of 1919. During the eclipse, it was possible to see starlight that would have passed close to the Sun on its journey to Earth. Changes in the apparent positions of stars close to the Sun in the sky provided confirmation of Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

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