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The faint star, called S0-102, orbits the black hole in 11.2 years, making it the closest large object known in the vicinity of our galaxy's superdense center. The star travels at speeds of up to 6,600 miles (10,600 kilometers) per second and is in a stable, if changeable, orbit.
Einstein's theory says that mass can warp space and time, and that has been proven many times over. But the theory has never been confirmed around an immense black hole—where traditional physics is known to break down—or on the scale provided by Sagittarius A and the stars around it.
"It is the tango of S0-102 and S0-2 that will reveal the true geometry of space and time near a black hole for the first time," study co-author Ghez said in a statement. "This measurement cannot be done with one star alone," said Ghez, whose study appears today in the journal Science.