Supervisory authorities



Home > Events > EWASS2019

1919-2019: 100 years of General Relativity

published on , updated on

22 May - 30 June 2019: Exhibit " 1919-2019: 100 ans de Relativité Générale "
designed by CRAL researchers and exhibited at the historical Lyon Observatory in Saint-Genis-Laval

The first confirmation of a prediction from Einstein’s General Relativity theory (published in 1915) was obtain 100 years ago, in May 1919, by A. Eddington, while observing a solar Eclipse. The total solar eclipse on May 29th 1919, visible from central Brazil to central Africa, was indeed the opportunity for a vast observing campaign; scientists, among which A. Eddington, went all over the world to observe it. The photographs taken by Eddington have shown deviation of light rays in the vicinity of the sun, as predicted by Einstein in his General Relativity theory. 100 years later, this curvature effect of light rays, called a gravitational lensing effect, is constantly used by astronomers. Many other confirmations from General Relativity have been obtained, the last one being the very recent image from a ring of light surrounding a central black hole in a nearby galaxy!

The exhibit follows the big adventure surrounding the total solar eclipse from May 1919, describing the expedition, the observations and Eddington’s measurement which will confirm the first prediction from General Relativity. It will also explain the gravitational lensing effect as well as other confirmations from General Relativity obtained recently including the detection of gravitational waves.

Experiments presenting the gravitational lensing effect are proposed to school groups during guided visits. Teachers should make an appointment by email:



A conference will present predictions from General Relativity. Follow a path through history to relive scientific expeditions and understand the importance of the observations performed, while informing about the latest scientific discoveries in the domain of gravitation and cosmology.

Conception: Johan Richard (CRAL)
With contributions from:
Adélaïde Claeyssens (CRAL)
Emmanuel Pécontal (CRAL)
Jenny Sorce (CRAL)
Isabelle Vauglin (CRAL)
Lucie Trocherie (OSUL)

Address: CRAL - site Observatoire de Lyon, 9 avenue Charles André, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval