ESOcast 121 Light: Star orbiting supermassive black hole suggests Einstein is right (4K UHD)

A new analysis of data from ESO’s Very Large Telescope and other telescopes suggests that the orbits of stars around the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way show the subtle effects predicted by Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

There are hints that the orbit of the star S2 is deviating slightly from the path calculated using classical physics. This tantalising result is a prelude to much more precise measurements and tests of relativity that will be made using the GRAVITY instrument as star S2 passes very close to the black hole in 2018.

This short video shows what this result means and why it is important.

The video is available in 4K UHD.

The ESOcast Light is a series of short videos bringing you the wonders of the Universe in bite-sized pieces. The ESOcast Light episodes will not be replacing the standard, longer ESOcasts, but complement them with current astronomy news and images in ESO press releases.



Visual Design and Editing: Nico Bartmann.
Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Izumi Hansen and Richard Hook.
Music: Music written and performed by STAN DART (
Footage and photos: ESO, N. Risinger (, Digitized Sky Survey 2, M. Parsa, L. Calçada and MPE.
Directed by: Nico Bartmann.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.

About the Video

Release date:9 August 2017, 12:00
Related announcements:ann17051
Duration:01 m 38 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Type:Milky Way : Galaxy : Component : Central Black Hole

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