Apr 19, 2019 | Updated: 11:14 AM EDT

Solar Eclipse Proves Einstein's Theory Of Relativity

Jun 02, 2017 05:21 AM EDT

A rare partial solar eclipse is seen over Northamptonshire on March 20, 2015 in Northampton, England.
(Photo : Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Albert Einstein's scientific publications collided head-on with scientists when he published his findings in 1915. Einstein was a nobody at that time and his publications were met with fierce debate over what the learned men of their era stood for until the solar eclipse unified the scientists and proved Einstein's theory of relativity to be correct.

Earlier beliefs state that space is inert, by Sir Isaac Newton's study that had scientists react to Einstein's theory of relativity with utmost skepticism. Albert Einstein writings demonstrate that space is constantly moving and the element of time is added to his findings, rebutting the Newtonian theory. The concept of time and space has a distinct relationship creating a universe wide fabric, which Einstein called, "space-time". Objects passing through space-time can be bent, twisted, or warped by the masses and motion within the fabric.

The gravity of light is where the two theories intersect stating that lights create a curvature while it travels to space. Light, according to Einstein always travels in a straight path, It's the warping of the universe-wide fabric that causes its deflection not the gravitational pull of stars. The light from objects behind massive stars seems to be in a different location in the sky. Present astronomers look at massive galaxies warping space-time and altering the path of light which they termed as gravitational lensing.

But Albert Einstein has yet to test his theory of relativity and that means massive objects to make use of and huge settings for the experiment. It was Sir Arthur Eddington, a follower, and believer of Albert Einstein's published writings, who made it possible to prove Einstein's theory. May 29, 1919, solar eclipse was the avenue to test all the scholarly writings in tow, reports Space.

Eddington first measured the positions of the stars beyond the path of the solar eclipse trajectory during the months of January and February 1919. He then went on an expedition in Principe, a remote island in the Gulf of Guinea, West Coast of Africa to measure the position of the same stars during the solar eclipse. Another team was also sent to Sobral, Brazil to take position gradients of the same stars in case there are no clear views in his position, reports Wired.

Fortunately, both locations have clear skies presenting a clear view of the solar eclipse. The observers took pictures of the 6-minute solar eclipse. Eddington returned to England to finalize his findings; his data from Principe confirmed Einstein's calculations and theory.

The effect of gravitational lensing occurred on Eddington's watch during the solar eclipse and is now a very important tool in the field of astrophysics. Astronomers and scientists use the tool to further understand the constant expansion of the universe and delving into dark matter.

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