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Relativistic Aberration?

  1. Feb 15, 2008 #1
    Been reading about aberration and two explanations that diverge - classical and relativistic. at speeds much slower than c the angle is very small for either formulation. the stellar aberration that led Bradley to the explanation 300 years ago is less than a minute of arc. Has there been any observation of aberration angles such that it can be definitely ascribed to relativistic effects?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2008 #2


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    No. The relativistic correction is too small.
    But it is good that SR keeps the aberration result.
  4. Feb 16, 2008 #3

    Have an illuminating look at
    Yuan Zhong Zhang Special Relativity and its experimentgal foundations (World Scientific
    Singapore 1940) pp.153-154
  5. Feb 16, 2008 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    I'm pretty sure relativistic aberration has been detected experimentally, but I don't have a specific reference to hand.
  6. Feb 21, 2008 #5


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    The angle of aberration is of the order of v/c, where v is the relative transverse velocity of a star. Observed aberration angles are of the order of 20 seconds of arc. The relativistic effect is an order v/c correction to this. Without a precise knowledge of the star's velocity, this v/c correction has not yet been observed.
    The transverse Doppler shift probably has been observed.
  7. Feb 21, 2008 #6
    Relativistic abberation is observed in the jets emmited from quasars orientated at certain angles. Matter is ejected from quasars at relative velocities of up to 0.99c and so this makes quasars a useful subject to study in the context of relativity. Some key words that are helpful for a search on this subject are: ("relativistic beaming" quasar blazar superluminal jets unification abberation)

    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
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