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

Tuan Do; 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; Schodel, Rainer; Takahashi, Masaaki; Takamori, Yohsuke; Witzel, Gunther; Wizinowich, Peter

Publicación: SCIENCE
VL / 365 - BP / 664 - EP / +
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 gamma. Our result, gamma = 0.88 +/- 0.17, is consistent with general relativity (gamma = 1) and excludes a Newtonian model (gamma = 0) with a statistical significance of 5 sigma.
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