For the beauty of 16 years an international team of researchers has observed the only couple of pulsars we have ever found. Pulsars, to understand us, are considered the most useful stars in the sky because thanks to them we can probe the interstellar medium and, among many other things, study even gravity.
The neutron star pair, called PSR J0737-3039A/B, was the subject of the 16-year study. Researchers here have discovered that relativistic effects can be measured in the timing of their impulses, just as Albert Einstein predicted in his theory of relativity. By the way, not all the sentences Einstein said are true.
These celestial bodies are a real laboratory to “test gravity theories in the presence of very strong gravitational fields,” according to astronomer Michael Kramer of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in “We were able to test a milestone in Einstein’s theory, namely the energy transported by gravitational waves, with a precision that is 25 times better than the Nobel Prize winner Hulse-Taylor and 1
The two pulsars are very close to each other, completing an orbit every 147 minutes. One of these stars rotates 44 times per second while the other, younger and slower, rotates once every 2.8 seconds. Since these celestial bodies have very strong gravitational fields, they can affect the times and angle of each other’s impulses.
Researchers have studied these impulses and times, using 7 telescopes, during the 16 years. “For the first time we have not only seen the light being delayed due to a strong curvature of spacetime, but also that the light is diverted from an angle of 0.04 degrees. Never before has such an experiment observed such a high curvature of spacetime.”
Here are also the greatest discoveries ever made by Albert Einstein.