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Albert Einstein
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Courtesy of Tracey Keifer. Emilio Segre Visual Archives. American Institute of Physics.

It Looks Like Einstein Was Right! Speed of Light and Gravity are Equal!
News story originally written on January 9, 2003

Almost 90 years ago, Albert Einstein was trying to explain how gravity and motion affect time and space. His ideas are very important for scientists today who are trying to understand the Universe. For his theory to work, he had to guess that the speed of gravity was equal to the speed of light. Now, scientists have found that he was right!

In September, 2002, scientists measured the speed of gravity when Jupiter passed in front of a quasar. Jupiter’s gravity made the bright light of the quasar move in an egg shape through the sky. The scientists used the shape of the quasar’s movement to calculate that the speed of gravity is nearly the same as the speed of light!


Last modified January 9, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA