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Detecting gravity's effect on light

  1. Jul 21, 2009 #1


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    During a solar eclipse, is it possible to detect the bending of starlight by the Sun using amateur astronomy equipment? If so, is it possible to show that the amount of bending agrees with general relativity but not Newtonian physics?

    My idea is to pick a star that's close to the Sun during totality, predict its altitude and azimuth without accounting for gravitational lensing, and find a star that passes by the same altitude and azimuth during the night before the eclipse. Center the star, wait until the eclipse, take a photo, and see how far the star in it is from the exact center. How accurate is this method with, say, an eight-inch telescope?
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  3. Jul 21, 2009 #2


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    A guy named Albert beat you to it.

    Eddington used a 4" 'scope with adequate results; your 8" should be more than good enough.

    http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/EINSTEIN/Appendix2.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Jul 21, 2009 #3
    You might want to be careful who you quote here , Negitron.

    You probably didn't intend to do it, but....
    The site you referenced is written by a highly opinionated fellow (Paul Marmet) who is known to challenge just about EVERYTHING in standard physics....
    and here he is giving a discourse as to why Eddington's test of GR was falsified and unreliable, and the size of his scope was completely insufficient to get the required resolution.

    There may be some truth to some of the details of sytematic error and bias, but Marmet is known for overexagerating the facts, especially those that promote his pre-conceived (and highly anti-Relativistic) philosophy. I find he is rarely objective with the facts....and many times invents false reasons to try to dismiss relativistic behavior.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jul 21, 2009 #4


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    It was mainly intended as a reference for the size of the telescope used, rather than an analysis of the experiment; a point which I failed to make clear.
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