Video: 100 years of gravity

One hundred years ago this month, observations performed during a total solar eclipse proved for the first time the gravitational bending of light predicted by Albert Einstein's new theory of gravity, general relativity. In this video, Günther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science, reflects on this historic measurement that inaugurated a century of exciting experiments, investigating gravity on Earth and in space and proving general relativity in ever greater detail.

On Earth, we deal with gravity every day. We feel it, we fight it, and –more importantly –we investigate it. Space agencies such as ESA routinely launch spacecraft against our planet's gravity, and sometimes these spacecraft borrow the gravity of Earth or other planets to reach interesting places in the solar system. We study the gravity field of Earth from orbit, and fly experiments on parabolic flights, sounding rockets and the International Space Station to examine a variety of systems under different gravitational conditions. On the grandest scales, our space science missions explore how gravity affects planets, stars and galaxies across the cosmos and probe how matter behaves in the strong gravitational field created by some of the universe's most extreme objects like black holes. Join the conversation online this week following the hashtag #GravityRules.

Credit: ESA/CESAR (solar eclipse sequence); ESO/M. Kornmesser (black hole); Royal Astronomical Society (negative photo of the 1919 solar eclipse); ESA/Hubble, NASA (gravitationally lensed quasar); ESO/Gravity Consortium/L. Calçada (black hole simulation)

Explore further

Clocks, gravity, and the limits of relativity

Citation: Video: 100 years of gravity (2019, May 24) retrieved 22 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-video-years-gravity.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
8 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

May 24, 2019
Too bad it was not Einstein taught at school which is the diffraction of light.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more