Testing General Relativity with Stellar Orbits around the Supermassive Black Hole in Our Galactic Center

DOI: 
10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.211101
Publication date: 
19/06/2017
Main author: 
Hees A.
IAA authors: 
Schödel, R.
Authors: 
Hees A., Do T., Ghez A.M., Martinez G.D., Naoz S., Becklin E.E., Boehle A., Chappell S., Chu D., Dehghanfar A., Kosmo K., Lu J.R., Matthews K., Morris M.R., Sakai S., Schödel R., Witzel G.
Journal: 
Physical Review Letters
Refereed: 
Yes
Publication type: 
Article
Volume: 
118
Pages: 
211101
Number: 
211101
Abstract: 

We demonstrate that short-period stars orbiting around the supermassive black hole in our Galactic center can successfully be used to probe the gravitational theory in a strong regime. We use 19 years of observations of the two best measured short-period stars orbiting our Galactic center to constrain a hypothetical fifth force that arises in various scenarios motivated by the development of a unification theory or in some models of dark matter and dark energy. No deviation from general relativity is reported and the fifth force strength is restricted to an upper 95% confidence limit of |α|<0.016 at a length scale of λ=150 astronomical units. We also derive a 95% confidence upper limit on a linear drift of the argument of periastron of the short-period star S0-2 of |ω S0-2|<1.6×10-3 rad/yr, which can be used to constrain various gravitational and astrophysical theories. This analysis provides the first fully self-consistent test of the gravitational theory using orbital dynamic in a strong gravitational regime, that of a supermassive black hole. A sensitivity analysis for future measurements is also presented. © 2017 American Physical Society.

Database: 
SCOPUS
ADS
URL: 
https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85019965660&doi=10.1103%2fPhysRevLett.118.211101&partnerID=40&md5=b91747ac7f2c399f6d684d0ca51fee99
ADS Bibcode: 
2017PhRvL.118u1101H