Einstein was right again. For the first time, astronomers saw bent light from the background of a black hole

Einstein was right again. For the first time, astronomers saw bent light from the background of a black hole

The theory of ingenious physicists has received further confirmation. This time in the constellation Ursa Major.

Astronomers have recently seen what they have never seen before. When they looked at a black hole 100 million light-years away, they saw X-ray light emanating from its background.

The light was bent. He was deformed by a supermassive black hole.

American and European astronomers who summarize their observations in a journal Nature, point out that this was the first time that someone had been able to observe this phenomenon.

Until now, astronomers have been able to observe light and other radiation from a supermassive black hole only when it has shone toward our telescopes.

“It’s the first time we’ve seen light bend behind a black hole into our field of vision. For the first time in general, we are seeing the way a black hole deforms the space around it, ”said study director Dan Wilkins, an astrophysicist at Stanford University Web MIT Technology Review.

Scientists have observed the diffraction of light by two telescopes tuned to observe X-rays in space. The first was NuSTAR, managed by NASA, and the second was XMM-Newton, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The big bear issued proof

The observation of X-ray diffraction confirms what Albert Einstein predicted in his theory of general relativity in 1915. In it, a brilliant physicist came to the conclusion that light can deviate in its path due to the gravity of another material body, in this case a black hole.

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Don’t be surprised, I told you that 106 years ago. Yours, Albert Einstein. | source:

These extremely massive objects were predicted on the basis of general relativity.

A black hole in which scientists have observed the refraction of light and which belongs to the category of supermassive holes, which are objects with a mass over 1010 mass of the Sun, lies 100 million light-years from Earth. It is located in the middle of the galaxy I Zwicky, abbreviated I Zw 1, the youngest known galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major, which is only five hundred million years old. That means it’s twenty times younger than our Milky Way.

Wilkins and his colleagues hope that studying X-ray echoes will help create partial or even complete images of distant supermassive black holes.

“This could help unlock some of the big secrets about how supermassive black holes actually grow, sustaining entire galaxies and creating an environment where the laws of physics are pushed to the limit,” the MIT website quoted Professor Wilkins as saying.

Strange flashes

In supermassive black holes, such as I Zw 1, a large amount of gas falls to their center, which is called the event horizon. This point of no return flattens into the accretion disk.

Charged particles meet above the black hole, causing X-rays. Some of the X-rays shine towards the Earth and can be observed with binoculars. Others point to and bounce off the flat disk of gases.

profimedia-0102961353 black hole

Galaxy I Zwicky, where the observed black hole lies. The image comes from the Hubble Telescope. | source:

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As the scientists watched the black hole, they also saw less bright flashes with other characteristics behind the bright flashes from the front of the accretion disk, which could not whip from the facing part of the hole. And it couldn’t be radiation from a black hole, because no rays could escape from there. The only explanation is that the flashes came from behind a black hole – an area that is hidden from the binoculars.

This can be considered as evidence that a black hole bends the space around it, and so the X-ray reflections bend around it. That is why we can also see them on Earth.

Astronomers write in their research report that their observations can help better understand “how objects fall into black holes and how black holes bend the spacetime around them.”


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