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date: 23 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although relativistic astrophysics began in the 1930s with study of supernovae and neutron stars, it was only three decades later that the discovery of extragalactic radio sources, quasars and pulsars marked the emergence of special and general relativity as essential tools of the high energy astrophysicist. X-ray and γ-ray astronomy provided many new insights, culminating in the discovery of γ-ray bursts at cosmological distances in 1997. Supermassive black holes in active galactic nuclei provided major new challenges for theorists and observers alike, revealing many remarkable relativistic phenomena, such as superluminal motions observed in some of the most active galaxies. Einstein’s prediction of gravitational waves of 1916 was substantiated exactly 100 years later with their discovery in coalescing binary black hole systems by the LIGO project. These remarkable discoveries, mostly in the non-optical wavebands, brought a wide range of physicists into the astronomical and cosmological communities.

Keywords: extragalactic radio sources, quasars, pulsars, black holes, active galactic nuclei, gravitational waves, general relativity, X- and γ-ray astronomy, evolution of AGNs, relativistic phenomena.

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