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Johnny Depp was never violent to me, ex-fiancée Winona Ryder will say

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johnny depp was never violent to me ex fiancee winona ryder will say

Johnny Depp‘s former fiancée Winona Ryder will tell the High Court this week that he was never abusive or violent to her, as his blockbuster libel case over allegations of domestic violence by his ex-wife Amber Heard continues.

Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp, 57, who will give evidence again today, is suing The Sun publisher News Group Newspapers and its executive editor Dan Wootton over an April 2018 article which labelled him a ‘wife beater’.

Depp is said to have attacked Heard, 34, throughout their tempestuous relationship, which has been described as ‘a crime scene waiting to happen’, and put her in fear for her life – claims he says are ‘a choreographed hoax’.

But Ryder, who starred with Depp in the 1991 film Edward Scissorhands and is due to give evidence via videolink on Wednesday, wrote in a statement: ‘We were together as a couple for four years. I counted him as my best friend, and as close to me as family.

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in Los Angeles in September 1990. Ryder is due to give evidence via videolink on Wednesday

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in Los Angeles in September 1990. Ryder is due to give evidence via videolink on Wednesday

Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder in Los Angeles in September 1990. Ryder is due to give evidence via videolink on Wednesday

Johnny Depp outside the High Court last Friday

Johnny Depp outside the High Court last Friday

Amber Heard outside the High Court last Friday

Amber Heard outside the High Court last Friday

Johnny Depp (left) and Amber Heard (right) are pictured last Friday outside the High Court in London last Friday as the Hollywood actor’s blockbuster libel case over allegations of domestic violence continues

‘I obviously was not there during his marriage to Amber, but, from my experience, which was so wildly different, I was absolutely shocked, confused and upset when I heard the accusations against him. 

‘The idea that he is an incredibly violent person is the farthest thing from the Johnny I knew and loved. I cannot wrap my head around these accusations.’

Stranger Things actress Ryder was in a relationship with Depp during the early 1990s, and he famously tattooed ‘Winona Forever’ on his arm – before changing it to ‘Wino Forever’ following their split.

Depp has been questioned since Tuesday over 14 alleged domestic violence incidents, and his Hollywood lifestyle, past relationships with Ryder, Vanessa Paradis and Kate Moss, and his well-documented use of drink and drugs. 

Photographs show bruising across the bridge of Heard's nose and under her eyes after Depp allegedly headbutted her in 2015

Photographs show bruising across the bridge of Heard's nose and under her eyes after Depp allegedly headbutted her in 2015

Bruising across the bridge of Heard's nose and beneath her eyes

Bruising across the bridge of Heard's nose and beneath her eyes

Photographs show bruising across the bridge of Heard’s nose and under her eyes after Depp allegedly headbutted her in 2015

Photos after the incident in December 2015 show bruising to Heard's face after Depp allegedly headbutted her

Photos after the incident in December 2015 show bruising to Heard's face after Depp allegedly headbutted her

Bruising to Heard's face after Depp allegedly headbutted her

Bruising to Heard's face after Depp allegedly headbutted her

Photos after the incident in December 2015 show bruising to Heard’s face after Depp allegedly headbutted her

In a separate incident weeks later in March, Depp is alleged to have trashed a $3million penthouse in LA which Heard used as a colossal closet

In a separate incident weeks later in March, Depp is alleged to have trashed a $3million penthouse in LA which Heard used as a colossal closet

In a separate incident weeks later in March, Depp is alleged to have trashed a $3million penthouse in LA which Heard used as a colossal closet

In a separate incident weeks later in March, Depp is alleged to have trashed a $3million penthouse in LA which Heard used as a colossal closet

Depp is alleged to have trashed a penthouse in Los Angeles, California, which Heard used as a colossal closet

Depp also admitted to doing graffiti on a bathroom mirror after the fight with Heard, which resulted in his finger being severed. He admitted that some of it was done with his blood and some with paint

Depp also admitted to doing graffiti on a bathroom mirror after the fight with Heard, which resulted in his finger being severed. He admitted that some of it was done with his blood and some with paint

Depp also admitted to doing graffiti on a bathroom mirror after the fight with Heard, which resulted in his finger being severed. He admitted that some of it was done with his blood and some with paint

Depp also admitted to doing graffiti on a bathroom mirror after the fight with Heard, which resulted in his finger being severed. He admitted that some of it was done with his blood and some with paint

Depp admitted to leaving graffiti on a bathroom mirror after the fight with Heard, which resulted in his finger being severed

Johnny Depp v The Sun: Key issues in libel trial 

Hollywood star Johnny Depp’s libel claim against The Sun enters its second week on Monday. These are the key issues the trial judge, Mr Justice Nicol, has to determine.

– Whether the April 2018 article by the tabloid’s executive editor Dan Wootton was defamatory of Mr Depp. Under the Defamation Act 2013, a statement is not defamatory unless its publication causes ‘serious harm to the reputation of the claimant’.

– The Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), is defending the claim and relying on a defence of truth. It is for the publisher to prove that the allegations made in the article are ‘substantially true’.

– The meaning of the article, which is defined as what it would mean to the ‘reasonable reader’, will have to be determined by the judge. But NGN’s lawyers say the differences between the rival meanings contended by each side are ‘not significant’ and the outcome of the case will therefore not turn on meaning.

– Mr Depp’s case is that the article bore the meaning that he was ‘guilty, on overwhelming evidence, of serious domestic violence against his then wife, causing significant injury and leading to her fearing for her life, for which he was constrained to pay no less than £5 million to compensate her, and which resulted in him being subjected to a continuing court restraining order; and for that reason is not fit to work in the film industry’. He strenuously denies the allegations and claims he ‘has never hit or committed any acts of physical violence against Ms Heard’.

– The meaning which NGN will seek to prove is true is that the Claimant beat his wife Amber Heard, causing her to suffer significant injury and on occasion leading her to fearing for her life. They rely on 14 separate allegations of violence and allege more generally that Mr Depp was ‘controlling and verbally and physically abusive’ towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and or drugs, throughout their relationship. NGN’s lawyers say an important issue for the judge to decide will be what substances Mr Depp was using during the relationship. They contend that he frequently lost control of himself, partly because of his heavy drug and alcohol use, and also that his memory has been impaired by his heavy use of drugs.

– If Mr Depp wins his case, the judge will have to decide what level of compensation he should receive for the harm to his reputation and for the ‘distress, hurt and humiliation caused’. There is an upper limit on general damages for libel of £300,000 to £325,000. However, if he succeeds, Mr Depp may also be entitled to aggravated damages. The actor is also asking for a final injunction against NGN, who his legal team say ‘have retained the article on their website and maintained their allegation to the bitter end’.

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The court has heard disputed accounts of a three-day trip to Australia, when Depp lost the top of his middle finger, and the so-called ‘defecation incident’ in which faeces were found in the couple’s bed after Heard’s 30th birthday.

Depp is due to finish giving evidence today after around 20 hours in the witness box at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. 

NGN’s lawyers have said Depp first hit his ex-wife in early 2013 during a heated argument over a painting – which he allegedly tried to set alight – by Heard’s ex Tasya van Ree and attacked her on a number of other occasions before the couple split in May 2016.

The publisher claims Depp is a ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ character who snapped when he was drunk and on drugs and turned into ‘the Monster’ – an ‘alter ego’ he assumed when he would ‘lose control and become a violent thug’.

The Pirates Of The Caribbean star has admitted giving misleading evidence about his drink and drug use before a flight from Boston to LA in May 2014 and ‘accidentally’ headbutting Heard during a row at their home in December 2015, but says his ex-wife’s allegations are ‘complete lies’ and that she was ‘the abuser’ in the relationship.

He accuses Heard of severing the top of his middle finger with a vodka bottle in Australia in March 2015 and of ‘building a dossier very early on’ in their relationship to align herself with the #MeToo movement.

The court also heard evidence last week on Friday afternoon from LAPD officer Melissa Saenz who attended the couple’s penthouse after the actor allegedly hit Heard in the face with her own mobile phone in May 2016, who said she ‘did not see any injuries’ or damage to the apartment.

Paradis, 47, and Ryder, 48, were originally due to give evidence this week, as was alleged Harvey Weinstein victim Katherine Kendall, 50, who accuses Mr Wootton of ‘deliberately misusing’ her quotes and ‘using the #MeToo movement’ to damage Depp.

Heard’s evidence was expected to begin on Friday morning – but it is not clear when the Aquaman actress will give evidence as Depp’s cross-examination has taken almost two days longer than scheduled.

The three-week trial, which is due to finish on July 27, will also hear evidence from current and former employees of Depp and Heard, as well as her sister and friends by video-link from LA.

The actor is suing NGN and Mr Wootton over the publication of an article on April 27 2018 with the headline: ‘Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?’

NGN is defending the article as true, and says Depp was ‘controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs’.

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Texas father dies as neck broken by officers during violent arrest

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texas father dies as neck broken by officers during violent arrest

The family of a man who died after his neck was broken during a violent arrest in Texas are suing the authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga, a 23-year-old father and husband, was celebrating Easter at a BBQ with friends in Hidalgo County on April 11.

At some point during the celebration Zuniga fell asleep in his friend’s yard. Police who were patrolling the area saw Zuniga, woke him up and told him to go home.

During the arrest, Zuniga was pepper sprayed, tased multiple times, pushed to the ground, had his neck crushed, and was handcuffed and placed in ankle restraints.

After being booked and his mugshot was taken – with cops holding up his head –  Zuniga was found unresponsive in his cell and had a severe cervical fracture, a swollen spinal cord and was paralyzed. 

He died in the hospital in July and now his family is seeking justice. 

Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga, a 23-year-old father and husband, died after his neck was broken during a violent arrest on April 11 in Texas

Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga, a 23-year-old father and husband, died after his neck was broken during a violent arrest on April 11 in Texas

Jorge Gonzalez Zuniga, a 23-year-old father and husband, died after his neck was broken during a violent arrest on April 11 in Texas

Mugshots taken afterwards reveal that he was unable to hold up his own head and substantial swelling is clearly visible in a side profile image

Mugshots taken afterwards reveal that he was unable to hold up his own head and substantial swelling is clearly visible in a side profile image

Mugshots taken afterwards reveal that he was unable to hold up his own head and substantial swelling is clearly visible in a side profile image

Mugshots taken afterwards reveal that he was unable to hold up his own head and substantial swelling is clearly visible in a side profile image

Mugshots taken afterwards reveal that he was unable to hold up his own head and substantial swelling is clearly visible in a side profile image

He was taken to the hospital where doctors found he had a severe cervical fracture, a swollen spinal cord and was a quadriplegic. The prosecution alleges he was 'pushed to the ground, had his neck crushed, was handcuffed and placed in ankle restraints'

He was taken to the hospital where doctors found he had a severe cervical fracture, a swollen spinal cord and was a quadriplegic. The prosecution alleges he was 'pushed to the ground, had his neck crushed, was handcuffed and placed in ankle restraints'

He was taken to the hospital where doctors found he had a severe cervical fracture, a swollen spinal cord and was a quadriplegic. The prosecution alleges he was ‘pushed to the ground, had his neck crushed, was handcuffed and placed in ankle restraints’

‘Mr. Zuniga followed their commands and started to go home’ but officers then decided to arrest him for public intoxication and disobeying COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, two minor, non-violent misdemeanors that were both later dismissed, according to the legal complaint filed by attorneys representing Mr. Zuniga’s bereaved mother, wife and baby son,’ the prosecution states. 

According to a statement from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office: ‘Mr. Zuniga refused to cooperate and became physically agitated, verbally abusive, and strongly resisted efforts to be taken into custody.’

During the course of the arrest, Zuniga was pepper sprayed and tased multiple times.

The prosecution alleges he was ‘pushed to the ground, had his neck crushed, was handcuffed and placed in ankle restraints.

‘At one point he was intentionally tripped and when he would not get up while still fully shackled, he was tased.’

After the violent arrest, Zuniga was placed in the patrol car and transported to the Hidalgo County Adult Detention Center.

Mugshots taken afterwards reveal that he was unable to hold up his own head and substantial swelling is clearly visible in a side profile image.

‘Despite the obvious injuries, including a large swollen neck, cuts and contusions, the jail officials acted with deliberate indifference and at no time sent Mr. Zuniga for medical evaluation or treatment. Instead, he was thrown into the ‘drunk tank’ and left alone,’ the legal complaint, filed by Thomas J. Henry Law, a personal injury attorney in Austin, Texas, says.

Jorge Zuniga's grieving wife Johana Zuniga said: 'My husband and I were parents of a one-year-old baby - my husband didn't deserve to be treated in such an unfair way. We only ask for justice because of the pain that my family and I feel will not be taken away'

Jorge Zuniga's grieving wife Johana Zuniga said: 'My husband and I were parents of a one-year-old baby - my husband didn't deserve to be treated in such an unfair way. We only ask for justice because of the pain that my family and I feel will not be taken away'

Jorge Zuniga’s grieving wife Johana Zuniga said: ‘My husband and I were parents of a one-year-old baby – my husband didn’t deserve to be treated in such an unfair way. We only ask for justice because of the pain that my family and I feel will not be taken away’

Zuniga's sister spoke about her brother after announcing that she and her family are suing the authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit

Zuniga's sister spoke about her brother after announcing that she and her family are suing the authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit

Zuniga’s sister spoke about her brother after announcing that she and her family are suing the authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit

'My husband was a hardworking man, and his son was his world for him. My son will not be able to know his dad, nor be able to call someone dad,' Zuniga's wife said, pictured with their son

'My husband was a hardworking man, and his son was his world for him. My son will not be able to know his dad, nor be able to call someone dad,' Zuniga's wife said, pictured with their son

‘My husband was a hardworking man, and his son was his world for him. My son will not be able to know his dad, nor be able to call someone dad,’ Zuniga’s wife said, pictured with their son 

The lawsuit reads: ‘Mr. Zuniga was left in his cell for over twenty-one hours without any medical attention.

‘Finally…twenty-one hours after his booking, someone at the jail checked on him. He was found to be non-responsive.’

Zuniga was then taken to the McAllen Heart Hospital and then the McAllen Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with ‘a severe cervical fracture, a swollen spinal cord and was a quadriplegic,’ according to the lawsuit.

On July 15, Jorge Zuniga died from chronic respiratory failure following a heart attack.

Attorneys allege that his injuries and untimely death were due to the ‘absolute deliberate and unconscionable indifference of the deputies and the jail staff.’ 

Zuniga’s grieving wife Johana Zuniga said: ‘My husband and I were parents of a one-year-old baby – my husband didn’t deserve to be treated in such an unfair way. We only ask for justice because of the pain that my family and I feel will not be taken away.

‘My husband was a hardworking man, and his son was his world for him. My son will not be able to know his dad, nor be able to call someone dad.’

‘They took my companion – the love of my life. I only ask for justice in the name of my husband which is what he deserves and what he asked for before he passed.’

33824788 8790973 image a 30 1601490802112

33824788 8790973 image a 30 1601490802112

33824766 8790973 image a 32 1601490866661

33824766 8790973 image a 32 1601490866661

His family is now suing authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit. A statement from the Sheriff's Office states: 'We are not in possession of the medical records required to confirm the cause of death.

His family is now suing authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit. A statement from the Sheriff's Office states: 'We are not in possession of the medical records required to confirm the cause of death.

His family is now suing authorities in a wrongful death lawsuit. A statement from the Sheriff’s Office states: ‘We are not in possession of the medical records required to confirm the cause of death.

A statement from the Sheriff’s Office states: ‘We are not in possession of the medical records required to confirm the cause of death.

‘Any allegation that a citizen’s rights have been violated is taken seriously and corrective action will be taken when justified.’

Thomas J. Henry, an attorney for Zuniga’s family, said: ‘The way they treated Jorge is utterly inhumane, his spinal injuries were so severe that he was unable to support his own head for the photograph, instead of seeking medical help they threw him in a cell.

‘He was delivered to the hospital with a broken spinal cord.

‘Bear in mind that no one made a complaint about Jorge on the day of the BBQ, he was sleeping in his friend’s yard and this is what happened to him, an arrest, a broken neck, paralysis and death.

‘His family are not doing well. They lost a husband, a son and a father. We intend to get justice for Jorge.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Louisville cops were ‘repeatedly told that Breonna Taylor was NOT receiving packages for her ex’

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louisville cops were repeatedly told that breonna taylor was not receiving packages for her
Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville police in March

Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville police in March

Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville police in March 

Cops investigating Breonna Taylor‘s ex-boyfriend as part of a drugs probe were repeatedly told that she was not receiving suspicious packages for him at her home, but they still listed it in their search warrant and raided it.  

Taylor was shot and killed as three cops returned fire on her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, in March. The cops had broken down her door with a battering ram in the middle of the night as part of an investigation into her previous boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. 

According to the cops, Taylor’s apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, was crucial to the investigation so it was a warranted raid. They say that Glover was picking up packages at the property earlier in the year and then driving to a known ‘drug house.’

However a newly released report reveals that officers asked the postal service whether or not any suspicious packages were being sent to Taylor’s home and were told no. 

Jamarcus Glover, the ex-boyfriend police were investigating

Jamarcus Glover, the ex-boyfriend police were investigating

Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend who was with her the night she died

Kenneth Walker, Taylor's boyfriend who was with her the night she died

Jamarcus Glover, the ex-boyfriend police were investigating. Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend who was with her the night she died

They still insisted on raiding it, even though Taylor had been described as a ‘soft target’ beforehand.

The police wanted to know if Glover was sending any packages to Taylor’s apartment that might have been relevant to their drug investigation, according to WDRB.

He had told them that he had shoes delivered to the address in January.  

Recordings of police interviews about the investigation will be released on Friday. 

Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron had tried to have the release delayed by a week, claiming he needed more time to redact witness names.

The judge gave him until Friday. 

It came after a juror in the case filed a motion to have all of the evidence released.

On Tuesday night, Cameron sought to defend himself ahead of the release of records that the grand jury was shown. 

He has been accused by an unidentified juror of publicly misrepresenting the incident with his submission of evidence and by recommending that only one of the cops should be charged. 

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly

Myles Cosgrove

Myles Cosgrove

Neither Jonathan Mattingly (left) nor Myles Cosgrove (right) have been charged over Taylor’s death 

On Wednesday, his staff claimed they needed more time to redact some of the names involved. They want another week to complete their redactions.  

Brett Hankison is the only cop out of the three who was charged. He was charged with wanton endangerment for a bullet that went into Taylor's neighbor's home

Brett Hankison is the only cop out of the three who was charged. He was charged with wanton endangerment for a bullet that went into Taylor's neighbor's home

Brett Hankison is the only cop out of the three who was charged. He was charged with wanton endangerment for a bullet that went into Taylor’s neighbor’s home

The evidence includes statements from a neighbor who first claimed to have heard the cops announce themselves but then changed their story to say that they didn’t. 

The evidence also includes ‘recordings’ but it’s unclear if those are bodycam recordings or other types of footage.  

On Monday, a juror filed a motion earlier this week to have all of the evidence released to the public. They say they are in turmoil over the fact that Cameron’s office only recommended that one of the cops should be charged with wanton endangerment, letting the two others completely off the hook, and without charging any of them with murder.

Taylor was shot and killed in her home in Louisville in March after three cops – Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove – opened fire on her apartment, where she was asleep with her boyfriend. 

They were executing a no-knock search warrant for her apartment that was part of a drug trafficking probe into her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, at the time. 

Taylor’s boyfriend at the time of her death, Kenneth Walker, awoke to the officers breaking down the door with a battering ram and opened fire. He says they did not announce themselves. The cops returned fire and Taylor was killed in the crossfire.

Despite global outrage over the killing – one of several this year that have  highlighted police brutality against black Americans and sparked protests worldwide – nothing was done to charge the officers until last week when, after a grand jury was convened, Hankison was indicted. 

Cameron’s office say that the two others are justified in returning fire and killing her because Walker opened fire first. 

Daniel Cameron on Tuesday night sought to defend himself ahead of the release of records that the grand jury was shown. He has been accused by an unidentified juror of publicly misrepresenting the case

Daniel Cameron on Tuesday night sought to defend himself ahead of the release of records that the grand jury was shown. He has been accused by an unidentified juror of publicly misrepresenting the case

Daniel Cameron on Tuesday night sought to defend himself ahead of the release of records that the grand jury was shown. He has been accused by an unidentified juror of publicly misrepresenting the case

In an interview on Tuesday night, Cameron said that the jury should have brought murder charges against the other two cops if they wanted to but that his office didn’t because they would never have been able to prove them at trial. 

‘Basically your question is about whether we recommended any murder charges against Cosgrove and Mattingly. 

‘The answer is no. Ultimately, our judgement is that the charge that we could prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt was for wanton endangerment against Hankison.

‘They are an independent body. 

‘If they wanted to make an assessment about different charges, they could have done that.

‘But our recommendation was that (Jonathan) Mattingly and (Myles) Cosgrove were justified in their acts and their conduct,’ he told WDRB TV. 

The juror spoke through their lawyer to say they were never given the option to charge the other two cops and that they were in ‘turmoil’ over the outcome.  

‘This is something where the juror is not seeking any fame, any acclaim, any money,’ their attorney, Kevin M. Glogower, told The New York Times on Tuesday.    

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Shadow cast by a supermassive black hole supports Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity

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shadow cast by a supermassive black hole supports albert einsteins theory of general relativity

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity – the idea that gravity is matter warping spacetime- has faced more than 100 years of scrutiny, but a new discovery may hold wait to the physicist’s hypothesis.

Researchers at the University of Arizona uncovered a ‘shadow’ cast by the supermassive black hole, known as M87, which proves Einstein is correct.

The team found the intense gravity of the black hole bent spacetime, thereby ‘acting as a magnifying glass and causing the black hole shadow to appear larger’.

By measuring this distortion, researchers said they found the size of the black hole shadow was consistent with the size predicted by the mathematics of general relativity.

Researchers at the University of Arizona uncovered a 'shadow' cast by the supermassive black hole, known as M87, which proves Einstein is correct. The team found the intense gravity of the black hole bent spacetime, thereby 'acting as a magnifying glass and causing the black hole shadow to appear larger. The bright thin ring seen in blue is the shadow

Researchers at the University of Arizona uncovered a 'shadow' cast by the supermassive black hole, known as M87, which proves Einstein is correct. The team found the intense gravity of the black hole bent spacetime, thereby 'acting as a magnifying glass and causing the black hole shadow to appear larger. The bright thin ring seen in blue is the shadow

Researchers at the University of Arizona uncovered a ‘shadow’ cast by the supermassive black hole, known as M87, which proves Einstein is correct. The team found the intense gravity of the black hole bent spacetime, thereby ‘acting as a magnifying glass and causing the black hole shadow to appear larger. The bright thin ring seen in blue is the shadow

Scientists have been conducted gravitational tests for nearly a century.

During a 1919 solar eclipse, Sir Arthur Eddington observed the first evidence of general relativity was in the displacement of starlight that was seen traveling along the curvature of spacetime caused by the sun’s gravity.

For the recent study, researchers analyzed images of the black hole located in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, which is 53.49 million light-years away from Earth, to test Einstein’s theory.

This specific black hole is the same one researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) used to create the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019, which was shown as a fiery ring of gas around a dark central – the black hole itself.

By measuring this distortion, researchers said they found the size of the black hole shadow was consistent with the size predicted by the mathematics of general relativity.

By measuring this distortion, researchers said they found the size of the black hole shadow was consistent with the size predicted by the mathematics of general relativity.

By measuring this distortion, researchers said they found the size of the black hole shadow was consistent with the size predicted by the mathematics of general relativity.

The photo was obtained by a network of eight telescopes at high altitudes around the world, as part of the EHT project.

Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is the idea that gravity is matter warping spacetime

Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is the idea that gravity is matter warping spacetime

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is the idea that gravity is matter warping spacetime

Lia Medeiros, of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in New Jersey, said: ‘This is really just the beginning.

‘We have now shown that it is possible to use an image of a black hole to test the theory of gravity.’

Although a black hole does not give off light, it is surrounded by a hot disc that emits gas around the event horizon, which is what produces the effect of a shadow. 

The first results revealed that the size of the black-hole shadow was consistent with the size predicted by general relativity.

UArizona Steward Theory Fellow Pierre Christian said: ‘At that time, we were not able to ask the opposite question: How different can a gravity theory be from general relativity and still be consistent with the shadow size?’

We wondered if there was anything we could do with these observations in order to cull some of the alternatives.’ 

This specific black hole is the same one researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) used to create the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019, which was shown as a fiery ring of gas around a dark central - the black hole itself.

This specific black hole is the same one researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) used to create the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019, which was shown as a fiery ring of gas around a dark central - the black hole itself.

This specific black hole is the same one researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) used to create the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019, which was shown as a fiery ring of gas around a dark central – the black hole itself. 

Katie Bouman was instrumental in capturing the very first image of a black hole. Here, she shared her achievement on Facebook. Study author Maciek Wielgus is adjacent to Bouman

Katie Bouman was instrumental in capturing the very first image of a black hole. Here, she shared her achievement on Facebook. Study author Maciek Wielgus is adjacent to Bouman

Katie Bouman was instrumental in capturing the very first image of a black hole. Here, she shared her achievement on Facebook. Study author Maciek Wielgus is adjacent to Bouman

The team focused on the range of alternatives that had passed all the previous tests in the solar system.

UArizona astrophysics professor Feryal Özel, a senior member of the EHT collaboration, said: ‘Using the gauge we developed, we showed that the measured size of the black hole shadow in M87 tightens the wiggle room for modifications to Einstein’s theory of general relativity by almost a factor of 500, compared to previous tests in the solar system.’

‘Black hole images provide a completely new angle for testing Einstein’s theory of general relativity,’ said Michael Kramer, director of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and EHT collaboration member. 

However, the team understands that testing the theory of gravity does not stop here and will be conducting more work to answer a number of questions:Are the general relativity predictions for various astrophysical objects good enough for astrophysicists to not worry about any potential differences or modifications to general relativity?

‘We always say general relativity passed all tests with flying colors – if I had a dime for every time I heard that,’ Özel said. ‘But it is true, when you do certain tests, you don’t see that the results deviate from what general relativity predicts. What we’re saying is that while all of that is correct, for the first time we have a different gauge by which we can do a test that’s 500 times better, and that gauge is the shadow size of a black hole.’

The EHT team is working on gathering higher resolution images using its current telescopes, along with three new ones – the observation is set for sometime next year.

‘When we obtain an image of the black hole at the center of our own galaxy, then we can constrain deviations from general relativity even further,’ Özel said.

BLACK HOLES HAVE A GRAVITATIONAL PULL SO STRONG NOT EVEN LIGHT CAN ESCAPE

Black holes are so dense and their gravitational pull is so strong that no form of radiation can escape them – not even light.

They act as intense sources of gravity which hoover up dust and gas around them. Their intense gravitational pull is thought to be what stars in galaxies orbit around.

How they are formed is still poorly understood. Astronomers believe they may form when a large cloud of gas up to 100,000 times bigger than the sun, collapses into a black hole.

Many of these black hole seeds then merge to form much larger supermassive black holes, which are found at the centre of every known massive galaxy.

Alternatively, a supermassive black hole seed could come from a giant star, about 100 times the sun’s mass, that ultimately forms into a black hole after it runs out of fuel and collapses.

When these giant stars die, they also go ‘supernova’, a huge explosion that expels the matter from the outer layers of the star into deep space. 

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