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Center for Astrophysics Research and Technologies Seminar Series Information

 

Events Calendar

Testing General Relativity Using a Star in a Tight Orbit around the Galactic Black Hole

Friday February 22, 2019
3:30 pm


 Presenter:  Mark Morris, UCLA
 Series:  Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
 Abstract:  Using adaptive optics observations with the Keck Telescopes, the UCLA Galactic center group has followed the orbit of the star S0-2 through its periapse passage close to the supermassive black hole at the Galactic center, where it was moving at 3% of the speed of light.  The radial velocity and astrometric measurements of this star’s orbit show good agreement with both special and general relativistic predictions, giving a test of GR in a strong gravity regime that had not been probed prior to this event.  With 24 years of monitoring the orbit of this star (and many others), the precision of the orbital determination is such that the distance to the Galactic center and the mass of the black hole are now determined with 1% and 1.5% accuracy, respectively.  We also place strong limits on the presence of unseen mass in the entourage of the black hole.
 Host:  Ylva Pihlström
 Location:  Room 125, Dane Smith Hall
 

Refreshments will be available before the colloquium, at 03:15 pm, in in the lobby of Dane Smith Hall.

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