The researchers confirmed one of Albert Einstein’s theories, witnessing a unique astronomical phenomenon with the Hubble Space Telescope.
Astronomers have succeeded in overcoming the phenomenon of bending light from a distant star when an object passes in front of it, informs AFP. The astronomical phenomenon is known as gravitational microlensing.
“Einstein would be proud. One of his most important theories has passed one of the most rigorous observation tests”, says Terry Oswalt at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Gravimetric microlensing was observed in 1919 when the light from a star curved around a total eclipse of the Sun.
At that time, the event offered some of the most convincing evidence of the theory of general relativity. “When a star in the foreground crosses the area between Earth and another star gravity microlensing appears, it is visible as a ring of light (Einstein ring)”, says Oswalt.
Einstein did not believe that this phenomenon is possible for other stars other than the Sun. He stated in an article in 1936 that the stars are so distant from us that “there is no hope that this phenomenon can be noticed”.
But through the Hubble Telescope, a team of researchers from the Space Telescope Science Institute, USA, has been able to see when the light of a distant star bends around a dwarf white star called Stein 2051 B.