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Eric asked the Naked Scientists: Chris,I've heard it said that if the sun were to suddenly vanish, the earth wouldcease its orbit instantly
Physicists leveled heavy criticism Thursday on a report from last week that claimed the speed of gravity had been determined by observation and was equal to the speed of light.One physicist called the interpretation of the finding "nonsense". Others were more diplomatic, suggesting that the experiment, involving observations of the bending of light from a distant galaxy as the light sped by the planet Jupiter, had instead measured other phenomena.The brewing controversy, which illustrates the fits and spurts with which science sometimes grudgingly moves forward, appears to have ground to a stalemate for now as the two scientists who conducted the experiment categorically defended their work."The claim that they've measured the speed of gravity is simply incorrect," said Clifford Will, a physicist at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, and an expert in the field.Interestingly, Will is friends with one of the researchers whose work he knocks.
We may never see the sun simply disappear, we might be dead before we could see it.