The theory of relativity saw the light of the day because of Albert Einstein, one of the most impressive theoretical physicists the Earth was blessed with. The hypothesis is one of the two main pillars for the basics of modern physics.
The theory of relativity has the speed of light set at 186,000 miles per second, of which nothing can travel faster. However, researchers are now doubting it after NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope had observed thousands of objects flying over five times this speed in a faraway galaxy.
Einstein’s Theory Challenged
The event, which was first spotted by astronomer Robert Williams in 1995, was captured in the galaxy called Messier 87 (M87). The scientist was the Director of Space Telescope Science Institute from 1993 to 1998 and was the one who noted the details of the encounter in the ‘NASA’s Unexplained Files’ series.
Dr. Seth Shostak, the Senior Astronomer for SETI Institute, explained why the discovery breaks the laws of physics we knew so far. He said there is no way physical objects or information can travel faster than the speed of light because it is the ultimate speed limit.
“Was Einstein right, or maybe he was slightly wrong? Or is there some way to beat Einstein by warping space?” he asked.
The scientists were so stumped when discovering this because if something breaks the constant speed of light, the laws of physics are no longer valid. Here, something was somehow breaking one of the universe’s most basic laws.
However, there may be a logical reason.
Hot Plasma And Light
Almost all galaxies have a central black hole that regularly devours stars and gas clouds. When gas begins to spin down the spiral, it heats up, and magnetic fields form some of it into streams of hot plasma. These streams then fire at velocities near to – but not faster than – the speed of light.
Therefore, when a telescope is directed to the sky towards M87, this spike of plasma is awry. Rather than being pointed exactly into our line of sight, it is a bit curved to the right. The one who made this clear was scientist Joshua Sokol back in 2017.
He explained what happens with a single glowing blob of plasma that is starting at the base of the way and emits a ray of light. Both the light and the plasma are traveling towards Earth, and after ten years, one would see that the blob has moved closer, at a sizeable fragment of the speed of light.
That gives the light emitted from the later location a few years’ head start on the way to Earth. Therefore, if you compare the first and second images from our view, it seems like the plasma has traveled across the sky to the right. But because the second location of the blob is also closer to Earth, its light has had less far to travel than it seems.
This means it appears to have arrived there much faster than it actually did as if the blob of plasma spent those ten years moving forward at a ridiculous speed.