Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Bizzare discovery will be used to test the theory.

The discovery of a very unique triple-star system 4,200 light years away could upset Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.  Or it might not. Despite the sensational headlines, the discovery stands a better chance of affirming his work, just as all previous experiments have done.

Einstein's theory isn't perfect, but nobody has found precisely what can fix it.

Einstein's theory isn't perfect, but nobody has found precisely what can fix it.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the Journal Nature, scientists from the University of British Columbia announced their discovery of a unique three-star system made of two dwarf stars and a pulsar.

Stars are basically balls of hydrogen gas in space which are so massive the hydrogen in their cores fuses into helium and releases heat and light in the process. This is what makes stars shine. Some stars are much larger than others, and their ages vary. As the hydrogen in a star's core is all fused into helium, the helium then begins to fuse, and heavier and heavier elements are forged until the star explodes under massive pressure that it can no longer counteract with fusion.

If the conditions are just right, the core of a star may collapse so much that it can form a pulsar. A pulsar is the dead core of a star that can be smaller than Earth in size, but so dense that a thimbleful of matter from it could weigh more than a mountain on Earth.

That small size and density cause the star to rotate rapidly, often hundreds of times per second. The pulsar beams out energy like a lighthouse beam, and can be spotted if that beam sweeps past Earth. So reliable is the spin that scientists use it for other observations. In fact, pulsars are even more precise than atomic clocks.

Enter the other two stars of the system, a pair of white dwarfs. A white dwarf star is a star like our sun, but even smaller. These three stars orbit around a common center of gravity, pretty much as expected. However, scientists are interested in taking precise measurements of every interaction within the system as a test of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

General Relativity basically says that the mass of an object, as well as the motion and energy associated with it, can warp the fabric of the fourth-dimension, known as "spacetime."

Headlines of the recent day proclaimed this to be the big chance for scientists to debunk Einstein's Theory. It's true, this is their chance, although he odds are slim. So far, there is no indication that Einstein is somehow wrong.

However, the nature of the system will allow hyper-precise measurements of everything in it, so any deviation from the predictions will send scientists to the blackboard to make new calculations.

Although General Relativity is widely accepted by scientists, there are indications that the theory needs additional explanation. Studies of quantum mechanics as well as research involving black holes suggests the theory does break down at some level. Scientists need all the experimental data they can acquire to locate the breakage and develop an improvement upon the theory. Such a discovery would warrant a Nobel Prize and would make someone's career-although none have yet accomplished this feat.

This is the reason for the hype over the discovery of the three-star system with a pulsar in it. If scientists are going to find the flaw in the theory, a stellar system 4,200 light years away appears to be just the place to start.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Technology

Innovative space invention promises to reach space locations in record times Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A once rejected drive can now revolutionize the entire outer space research, as NASA and several others confirmed this program actually works. The invention was previously rejected by scientists after it defied the physics concept of the conservation of momentum, ... continue reading


Is your phone in danger? Threatening malicious text message can hack Android's inner system Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With just a simple text message, your phone and all its data may be compromised without you even knowing. The core of this nightmare is at the heart of the operating system itself - Stagefright, an Android code library. Users currently have nothing much to protect ... continue reading


Pope Francis uses iPad to become first person registered for 2016's World Youth Day Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

On Sunday, Pope Francis successfully became the first person registered for the 2016 edition of the World Youth Day, using an iPad. Before registering, he addressed thousands at the St. Peter's Square in an appeal for the release of an Italian Jesuit priest kidnapped ... continue reading


EARTH'S TWIN: Kepler 452b heralded as the most similar planet to Earth yet discovered Watch

Image of While Kepler-452b is larger than Earth, it's 385-day orbit is only five percent longer. Furthermore, the planet is five percent farther from its parent star Kepler-452 than Earth is from the sun.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kepler-452b has astronomers calling the planet "the closest twin to Earth" they have yet seen. The planet is the smallest world found orbiting in the habitable zone of a star. Kepler-452b orbits its star at approximately the same distance that Earth orbits the ... continue reading


Solar system similar to ours discovered by astronomers Watch

Image of Researchers believe the ideal habitable exoplanet would reside in a solar system that mirrors ours. A

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In an new astronomical study on the search for "solar system 2.0" - a solar system that is similar to our own, and therefore more likely of sustaining life, scientists have made an exciting new discovery. Such a solar system exists, some 200 light years away, and ... continue reading


'Bee Hive' Skyscraper cities: The future for overpopulated areas Watch

Image of Bee Hive skyscraper cities are expected to put a halt to urbanization in the future.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The future of urban living is about to change with the conceptualization of "Bee Hive" skyscrapers set up to house communities in urban areas. An entire city within a single skyscraper is the futuristic solution to population density problems in the major cities of the ... continue reading


PLAYING GOD?: High-quality artificial sperm manufactured by Chinese scientists for the first time Watch

Image of They don't have tails and can't swim. The new artificial sperm - created for the first time by Chinese scientists, look more like eggs than natural sperm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They don't have tails and can't swim. The new artificial sperm - created for the first time by Chinese scientists, look more like eggs than natural sperm. However, they can still fertilize an egg and pass on genetic information to potential offspring. LOS ... continue reading


Candles for your Mobile Phones: Flame used to produce electricity can charge your mobile phones Watch

Image of The Candle Charger can generate electricity to charge your mobile phones.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Technology now provides a solution to untimely blackouts; mobile phones can now be charged even in the event of a power failure through the Candle Charger. With the heat produced by a candle, mobile devices can be charged and one can stay connected without ... continue reading


Smartphones getting smarter: Can your smartphone tell if you're depressed? Watch

Image of Your Smartphones can be a black box of your emotions. (Photo by: Jovo Jovanovic for Stocksy United)

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Changes in technology have greatly affected the advancement of society. It has also affected how we live our lives. Technological advances have started to seclude human beings from real life experiences that they should be facing on a daily basis. Recent studies ... continue reading


They're watching your every move: What are Smart Cities? Watch

Image of Beijing [not pictured] is one of the cities believed to be eying the development of Smart Cities.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Billions of people are being confronted by different governments around the world to create "smart cities." These "smart cities" are urban areas that are covered with internet-connected devices that will, not only be a means of communication, but also control the ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Leviticus 25:1, 8-17
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 67:2-3, 5, 7-8
2 Then the earth will acknowledge your ways, and all ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:1-12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2015 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter