News of the WeekAstrophysics

Neutron Stars Imply Relativity's a Drag

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Science  01 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5484, pp. 1448
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5484.1448a

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Summary

A new finding, based on x-rays from distant neutron stars, could be the first clear evidence of a weird relativistic effect called frame dragging, in which a heavy chunk of spinning matter wrenches the space-time around it like an eggbeater. Using data from NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer, three astronomers in Amsterdam found circumstantial evidence for frame dragging in the flickering of three neutron stars in binary systems. They announced their results in the 1 September issue of The Astrophysical Journal.