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Relativistic redshift of the star S0-2 orbiting the Galactic Center supermassive black hole.

  • Author(s): Do, Tuan
  • Hees, Aurelien
  • Ghez, Andrea
  • Martinez, Gregory D
  • Chu, Devin S
  • Jia, Siyao
  • Sakai, Shoko
  • Lu, Jessica R
  • Gautam, Abhimat K
  • O'Neil, Kelly Kosmo
  • Becklin, Eric E
  • Morris, Mark R
  • Matthews, Keith
  • Nishiyama, Shogo
  • Campbell, Randy
  • Chappell, Samantha
  • Chen, Zhuo
  • Ciurlo, Anna
  • Dehghanfar, Arezu
  • Gallego-Cano, Eulalia
  • Kerzendorf, Wolfgang E
  • Lyke, James E
  • Naoz, Smadar
  • Saida, Hiromi
  • Schödel, Rainer
  • Takahashi, Masaaki
  • Takamori, Yohsuke
  • Witzel, Gunther
  • Wizinowich, Peter
  • et al.

The general theory of relativity predicts that a star passing close to a supermassive black hole should exhibit a relativistic redshift. In this study, we used observations of the Galactic Center star S0-2 to test this prediction. We combined existing spectroscopic and astrometric measurements from 1995-2017, which cover S0-2's 16-year orbit, with measurements from March to September 2018, which cover three events during S0-2's closest approach to the black hole. We detected a combination of special relativistic and gravitational redshift, quantified using the redshift parameter ϒ. Our result, ϒ = 0.88 ± 0.17, is consistent with general relativity (ϒ = 1) and excludes a Newtonian model (ϒ = 0) with a statistical significance of 5σ.

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