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Stellar Trio Could Put Einstein's Theory of Gravity To the Test 106

Posted by samzenpus
from the there's-a-first-time-for-everything dept.
sciencehabit writes "In a cosmic coup, astronomers have found a celestial beacon known as a pulsar in orbit with not one, but two other stars. The first-of-its-kind trio could soon be used to put Einstein's theory of gravity, or general relativity, to an unprecedented test. 'It's a wonderful laboratory that nature has given us,' says Paulo Freire, a radio astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, who was not involved in the work. 'It's almost made to order.'"
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Stellar Trio Could Put Einstein's Theory of Gravity To the Test

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  • beta feedback (Score:4, Informative)

    by Pastis (145655) on Monday January 06, 2014 @04:03AM (#45876407)
    on top left of the main site there's a link to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sdredesign [surveymonkey.com]
  • by mangu (126918) on Monday January 06, 2014 @07:43AM (#45877013)

    And how do you know if your equations are correct?

    That's the whole point raised by TFA. You know your equations are correct if the results of the simulation agrees with the results of the observation.

    This system offers an unprecedented way to check how much does model general relativity fit the actual universe.

    It's all in TFA, but I suppose reading it breaks the slashdot rules. Since we have three stars that are much more massive than any other three body system observed before, we can make measurements of the effects of gravitation with more precision, because the effects of those three stars on each other are so much bigger than the perturbations from other masses.

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