• November 5th, 2018

Astronomy homework

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In December 2013, a team of European astronomers were awarded 14 million euros to test Einstein’s general theory of relativity by trying to observe a black hole for the first time. Black holes are predicted by general relativity and we believe are the end product of the very massive stars that you are studying this week; however, while there is a lot of evidence for black holes and we see them all the time in science-fiction movies, there is no irrefutable evidence.
This will be a very challenging experiment. Material that approaches a black hole produces strong radio emission, and the scientists believe that they will be able to detect the shadow of the event horizon against this bright radio emission by using a very large array of telescopes. They will be looking at the supermassive black hole lurking in the middle of our Milky Way galaxy.
In your own words, explain what the event horizon is.
Einstein theory of relativity has been put to the test many times and it is the best theory of gravity we have, why do you think the European Research Council decided to give such a large grant to test the theory once more? If the scientists do not find a black hole in the middle of the Milky Way galaxy, do you think the whole theory of relativity has to be discarded or modified? Use what you have learned about scientific theories to answer this question.

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