Watch scientists unveil the first-ever image

11 April, 2019, 02:46 | Author: Emilio Conner
  • In astrophysics milestone first

An global team of scientists and astronomers have just given humanity its first-ever look at a black hole.

"As long as they have not been swallowed by the black hole, the material can be detected".

Thus, over several days in April 2017, eight radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, Spain, Mexico, Chile and the South Pole zeroed in on M87 as well as Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way.

"Such observations could lead to images of strong gravity effects that are expected near a black hole, and to the direct detection of dynamics near the black hole as matter orbits at near light speeds", the EHT said.

The research will test the theory of general relativity put forward in 1915 by Einstein, the famed theoretical physicist, to explain the laws of gravity and their relation to other natural forces.

"Imaging a black hole is just the beginning of our effort to develop new tools that will enable us to interpret the massively complex data that nature gives us", Psaltis added.

The image of the dark circle surrounded by a ring of hot gas made history.

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"It's a dream come true, on many levels", Ozel said. A black hole does not let light escape, so it's hard to identify its existence, compared to any other empty space.

"You could have seen something that was unexpected, but we didn't see something that was unexpected".

To find a black hole massive enough to potentially be visible from an Earth-sized telescope, the Event Horizon researchers focused on "supermassive" black holes that are found at the centers of galaxies. "The shape is the shadow of the black hole", said Patrick Das Gupta, professor at Delhi University's department of physics and astrophysics.

"By definition, a black hole per se can not be seen, and never will be".

The Event Horizon Telescope is a network of individual observatories located in several countries, working together and combining their power to peer as far into space as possible.

The "monster" black hole measures 40 billion kilometers (~25 billion miles) across - that's almost 29,000 Suns - and is located 500 million trillion kilometers (~311 million trillion miles) away at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy, a massive galaxy in the "nearby" Virgo galaxy cluster. Nearly every galaxy in the universe has a black hole at its center, including our Milky Way, he said.

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