News from 7.2 billion light years away demonstrates that some things in this shifting universe are relatively reliable. We can still count on Einstein and his explanation of space-time to explain how things work.
Last May, the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope detected a short gamma ray burst – caused by colliding neutron stars -– and managed to zero in on two produced photons that possessed energies differing by a million times.
Some challenges to Einstein's theories predict that higher energy photons travel through space at a different speed than their lower-energy comrades. This would violate Einstein's finding that all electromagnetic radiation travels at the same speed through a vacuum like space.
But these two photons, after racing through space for over 7 billion years, arrived at the Fermi telescope just 9/10th of a second apart—pretty much a dead heat. As Peter Michelson, a principal investigator on Fermi, said, "Einstein still rules."
This news may disappoint some scientists –- and those who share their passion for overthrowing authority -– but it is a great result for the Fermi telescope in its first year of operation.