August 21, 2017

NASA Space probe proves Einstein correct

Gravity Probe B - home of the world's most perfect spheres'.

Gravity Probe B the NASA space probe launched in 2004 has produced evidence that some key consequences of Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity are correct.

It has taken seven years for Gravity Probe B’s data to be carefuly analysed by scientists before it was released.

The satellite’s observations show the massive body of the Earth is very subtly warping space and time.

Scientists were able to see these effects by studying the behaviour of four perfectly engineered spinning balls carried inside the probe.

The results have been published online in the journal Physical Review Letters.

“We’ve completed this landmark experiment, testing Einstein’s Universe – and Einstein survives,” said Francis Everitt, the mission’s principal investigator at Stanford University.

Gravity Probe B was looking to confirm two important consequences stemming from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity that describe the way space and time are distorted by the presence of huge objects such as planets and stars.

One, known as the geodetic effect, is the amount by which the Earth will warp the local space-time in which it resides.

The other, which physicists refer to as frame-dragging, is the phenomenon that sees the Earth drag local space-time around with it as it rotates.

Gravity Probe B sought to observe both these effects by measuring tiny drifts in the spin axes of four gyroscopes relative to the position of a star called IM Pegasi (HR 8703).

To ensure accuracy, the balls had to be chilled to near absolute zero and flown inside a vacuum flask to isolate them from any disturbance.

One side benefit of the project, which has taken decades to bring to fruition is that over 100 students achieved their PhDs working on some aspect of the mission

More than 350 undergraduate students also worked on Gravity Probe B including Sally Ride, who became the America’s first female astronaut in space.

Newswarped applauds the work of all those involved in the project that was first conceived back in 1959.

It is amazing that so many have been involved over the years. A lot of the early contributors would not have lived to see Gravity Probe B do its stuff. But without their foundation it would not have been possible.

Although a lot of the space programmes get criticised for being ultra-expensive when there are so many problems on earth to be solved.

Newswarped believes that it is a great thing that talented people get to help us all learn more about our universe, and push the boundaries of technology and scientific understanding.