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Nearly twenty years of observations of binary star system confirmed one of the effects of the theory of relativity

Full tape of POLIT.RU 03.02.2020 at 10:00

Full tape POLIT.RU

A Team of scientists from Germany, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand and great Britain presented new evidence of the existence of the lense — Thirring effect, one of the phenomena predicted by the General theory of relativity. Evidence based on data collected for nearly twenty years of observations of a double star system PSR J1141–6545. It is a very rare type of double stars, as it consists of a neutron star and a white dwarf. This is the first observation of this effect in stellar systems.

According to the General theory of relativity, the rotation of a massive object causes a so-called "passion inertial reference systems". It is shown that near such a rotating body may start to apply additional force similar to the Coriolis force. Under the influence of these forces will shift the plane of the orbit of a celestial body in a binary system. Named this effect after the Austrian scientists Josef lense and Hans Thirring, who predicted it in 1918.

Previously, this effect was experimentally discovered in observations of the orbits of the satellites that are affected by the gravitational field of the Earth. But in this case the effect is too small and it is difficult to measure. Much stronger than the lense — Thirring effect should occur in rotating bodies with huge masses of black holes and neutron stars. According to one of the authors of the current work of Norbert vex from the Institute of radio astronomy of max Planck Society, in such systems, the effect is a hundred million times stronger.

Norbert Wex and his colleagues used the 64-metre radio telescope in Parkes Australia to monitor dual system PSR J1141–6545, consisting of a young pulsar (neutron star) and a white dwarf. The scientists measured the arrival time of the pulses up to 100 microseconds for nearly twenty years, which allowed them to identify a significant shift in the orientation of the orbit of the white dwarf. Analyzing its possible causes, they came to the conclusion that it was the result of the lense — Thirring effect.

the findings appear in the journal Science.