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Scientists confirm ripples in space-time caused by a pair of white dwarf stars

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Einstein would be proud of this breakthrough discovery

A team of researchers has found visible evidence of gravity waves around two dead stars, confirming ripples in space-time that were first predicted by Albert Einstein. The concept was part of Einstein's theory of relativity, but had only been inferred through use of radio waves. Now, investigators have seen changes in the orbits of two white dwarf stars 3,000 light years away that prove the theory.

The star duo is known as J0651, and they orbit each other in less than 13 minutes. The orbit time changes as the stars eclipse each other as seen by the scientists here on Earth. "There have been 30 years of using radio telescopes and timing pulsars, but this is the first time we've been able to detect the influence of gravitational wave radiation using an optical telescope," lead investigator J.J. Hermes from the University of Texas at Austin said.

[Image credit: Patrick Hoesly]
[via BBC]

This article was written by Anna Washenko and originally appeared on Tecca

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