Einstein was right: There is a four-dimensional space-time vortex around Earth, and the spin of Earth does twist space-time.
That’s according to NASA, in an announcement made 52 years after scientists first imagined how to test Einstein’s theory on space-time – before the technology to test it had even been invented. NASA announced confirmation of the four-D space-time vortex around Earth on May 4, 2011.
What does it mean? As Einstein suggested in his general theory of relativity, published in 1916, gravity can be described as the motion of objects following curved lines in space – or rather space-time, as Einstein more accurately depicted it. The curved lines are caused by the presence of a mass, for example our Earth or sun. In other words, according to Einstein, mass causes space-time to curve. Objects moving near that mass roll toward it, much as a ball would roll toward a heavy person sitting on a trampoline. What’s more, as Earth spins, it should cause a twist in the fabric of space-time. NASA’s Gravity Probe B (GP-B) confirmed these two key predictions, derived from Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The findings are online in the journal Physical Review Letters.