According to the European Southern Observatory, which operates the telescope in Chile with which the observations were made and which today released the results of the investigation in a statement, the orbit of this star is shaped like a rosette and not an ellipse, as predicted by the classic Theory of Gravitation by physicist Isaac Newton, 1687.
The results of the investigation, which involved making accurate measurements of the star’s orbit for about 30 years from observations made with the VLT telescope, were published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. The work mobilized an international scientific team, namely from Portugal, France and Germany.
In addition to Paulo Garcia, researchers from Centra António Amorim and Vítor Cardoso were also involved.
The Portuguese team participated in more than 330 measurements of the star’s position, which completes an orbit near Sagittarius A after 16 years, but also in the design and construction of a component of a VLT telescope instrument that allows images of the environment to be obtained close to the black hole, said António Amorim, quoted in a statement from Centra.
The deformation of space-time caused by a black hole, an extremely dense and dark body in the center of galaxies from which nothing escapes, not even light, is described by Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
The scientists intend to deepen their studies, measuring the orbit of the S2 star even more accurately, looking for stars in orbits closer to Sagittarius A and analyzing what triggers the explosions around the black hole.