The dark lab

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

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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.