Simulate Eddington’s Experiment!

KStars now gives you an option to correct for General Relativistic effects near the sun!

According to Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, light rays bend around the sun because of the sun’s gravity, and this correction is predicted to be about 0.0005 of a degree for light rays that just graze the sun’s surface. During the Solar Eclipse of 29th May 1919, Arthur Eddington verified this theory experimentally.

KStars now lets you simulate this experiment, which essentially measured the apparent positions of stars near the edge of the sun and showed that General Relativity accounted for the difference in the observed and expected positions of the stars.

Fire up KStars, hit ‘0’ to center the sun, and zoom in quite a bit to see the stars at the edge of the sun. Now hit ‘r’ to toggle the relativistic corrections!