Physics Beyond Einstein

This is mostly over my head, but it sounds really cool:

Astronomers from MIT and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have seen evidence of hot iron gas riding a ripple in spacetime around a black hole. This spacetime wave, if confirmed, would represent a new phenomenon that goes beyond Einstein’s general relativity.

These observations, presented Jan. 10 at the 205th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in San Diego, confirm one important theory about how a black hole’s extreme gravity can stretch light. The data also paint an intriguing image of how a spinning black hole can drag the very fabric of space around with it, creating a choppy spacetime sea that distorts everything falling into the black hole.

Jon Miller of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Jeroen Homan of MIT’s Center for Space Research observed the phenomenon with NASA’s Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. … Miller and Homan caution that this is only one explanation of their observation, and that other explanations may be possible.

Dragging the very fabric of space. Do you think God put those things out there just to keep physicists humble?

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