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Repeating the Experiment that Made Einstein Famous


An attempt to measure the solar deflection of stars during the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse to the highest precision ever realized


In 1919, shortly after Einstein’s theory of General Relativity predicted a very small effect, teams of scientists attempted to measure this effect during an eclipse seen in Africa and Brazil.  The results made front-page headlines and catapulted Einstein to world-wide fame.  The experiment is very difficult, and even after additional attempts as recently as 1973, the eclipse results have never been better than about 6%. With modern technology (an NP101is telescope provided by Televue, a Microline ML8051CCD camera provided by Finger Lakes, and a tripod provided by Software Bisque), this historic experiment can be repeated without an army of workers moving 6 tons of equipment to another continent.  With astrometric advice from the US Naval Observatory and careful preparation, I will be setting up in Wyoming to perform this experiment, the most difficult challenge of my career. I expect to complete the experiment with a precision of 1%.  


Total solar eclipse from 2006.  Clicking on the photo takes you my 2017 Experiment.

Astronomy Links

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Jupiter, April 9, 2004 (my highest resolution Jovian image)

Stellar Products was the first company to manufacture standard adaptive optics systems to both amateur and professional astronomers. The AO-2 adaptive optics system provided image stabilization for planetary photography. The AO-5 adaptive optics system will provide correction of defocus and astigmatism as well as image stabilization. Either of these systems allows the astronomer to improve his images to the limit of his telescope.

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Mars, August 9, 2003, using a webcam


Saturn, December 29, 2000, using AO-2 system


Jupiter, January 7, 2001, using AO-2 system

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(For best viewing, please maximize your monitor brightness and adjust the contrast until you can see each of the 17 gray scales shown here)

Recent Images and Movies of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and stellar seeing are now posted in the Image Gallery (updated October 28, 2005).

FOR MORE INFORMATION, click on these links:

Image Gallery

Adaptive Optics Tutorials and Products

About Stellar Products

Thank you for your interest in Stellar Products!

All content is Copyright 2005-2016 by Don Bruns

All text and images are owned by Stellar Products, 1992-2016. Any use by others without permission of Stellar Products is prohibited. For information on commercial use of any of these images, click here.

Web page last updated March 15, 2016.