JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JULIAN BAUM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artwork illustrating the concept of warped space. The fabric of space is represented as a grid in which objects of increasing mass produce increas- ingly large distortions. Our Sun, at bottom left, makes almost no impression. A small, but much denser & more massive neutron star (lower centre), creates a slight distortion. The enormous gravitational pull of a black hole (bottom right) creates a yawning chasm, warping the fabric of space for light years around. The idea that space is distorted by gravity is a consequence of Einstein's Theory of Relativity. The grid of space is like a thin rubber sheet on which objects of varying weight produce smaller or larger dents.
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