News

The dark lab

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  06 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6226, pp. 1089-1093
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6226.1089

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

Searching for the ultimate test of general relativity, researchers are looking toward the center of our galaxy. There, shrouded in dust, lurks a bright, compact source of radio waves known as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*). Astronomers think that Sgr A* marks the dark heart of the Milky Way: a supermassive black hole weighing as much as 4 million suns. That black hole produces the most intense gravitational field in our galaxy and so provides a unique laboratory for testing the predictions of general relativity. Over the next few years, using a range of new instruments, astronomers are hoping to see whether Sgr A* is bending relativity beyond breaking point.