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Gravity Probe B

Testing Einstein's Universe

Special & General Relativity Questions and Answers

Does relativity apply to 'sideways' angular motion or just motion along the line of sight?

Yes. Relativity applies to the complete suite of motions that can be executed by matter. That's what makes it a unified and self-consistent theory of motion. Its general relativistic formulation is the most complete and general method for describing how ANY observer will observe motions in our universe. It doesn't matter if the motion is accelerated, line-of-sight or transverse to the line-of-sight. Like the spaghetti sauce commercial says 'It's in there!'.

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All answers are provided by Dr. Sten Odenwald (Raytheon STX) for the NASA Astronomy Cafe, part of the NASA Education and Public Outreach program.