Researchers have conducted a study examining the validity of Einstein’s theory of general relativity on a galactic scale.
The theory of general relativity states that large objects such as planets and stars cause a distortion in space-time, which is felt by other bodies as gravity.
The study exploited a gravitational lens system, studying the light from a distant galaxy bent around a foreground galaxy.
The mass distribution in the foreground galaxy was compared with the curvature of space-time around it and the speed of the stars around its edges to determine whether the measurements were consistent.
Both the Hubble Space Telescope and the Very Large Telescope were used to conduct the study, which provided results with an error margin of 9% – making it the most precise measurement of relativity to date.
While these findings do not prove that Einstein’s theory of general relativity applies on a galactic scale, they do provide evidence that the science checks out on an intergalactic level.
“The result supports general relativity and eliminates some alternative theories of gravity,” stated the study.