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.
- Pub Date:
- August 2019
- ASTRONOMY; PHYSICS;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
- 78 pages, 21 figures, accepted to Science, astrometry and radial velocity measurements, and posterior chains available here, http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~ghezgroup/gc/gr/data.zip