Scientists Share the First-Ever Photo of a Black Hole

12 April, 2019, 07:57 | Author: Donna Miller
  • The first image of a black hole

Black holes, long theorized about but never photographed, are technically impossible to see because everything - even light - is drawn in by their gravitational pull.

"What we are seeing is the light that is bent by the strong gravity of the black hole", says Bower.

'"Anyways, this image really is an emblem of the power of the human intellect to explore, to discover and to understand the cosmos". At last, they tried their discoveries against the consequences of a million recreations of what a black hole may resemble, until finally they recognized a match.

Capturing the historic image was said to be like spotting a donut on the surface of the moon. The Significance Of A Photo More than just historical value, the photo of the black hole is an important step forward in continuing to study space. "Once you cross it, you will never be able to get out and you will never be able to communicate", said astronomer Avi Loeb, who is director of the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard but was not involved in the discovery. "They represent an unexplored extreme of space-time", as astrophysicist Adam Frank wrote for NPR in 2017.

If a dying star is massive enough, on the order of 10 or 20 times as massive as our sun, it's likely to collapse into a black hole when it dies. "Something I've been working on for many, many years, trying to build a physical model of a black hole environment and predictions, and the opportunity to study the hearts of black holes is wonderful". The results were also published in six papers in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The project's researchers obtained the data using radio telescopes in the US states of Arizona and Hawaii as well as in Mexico, Chile, Spain and Antarctica. Each signal received by the telescopes must be synchronized wave by wave, using atomic clocks and a supercomputer to correlate and combine observations from around the world. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, and Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory space telescope missions all participated as well as NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

It was revealed today after years of global collaboration between over 200 worldwide astronomers.

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Each telescope in this project created huge amounts of data - roughly 350 terabytes per day. That means that material moving toward us would appear brighter, while material moving away from us would appear dimmer-which you can see in the M87 image. Allow us to explain; a black hole that has a mass of 4.1 million suns will only be about 15 million miles wide.

"Black holes have sparked imaginations for decades", said National Science Foundation director France Córdova, per CNN.

The telescopes collected five thousand trillion bytes of data. But what exactly is the image showing, and why is the irregular ring orange?

This story has been corrected to show that the black hole is located in the M87 galaxy, and not the Milky Way. On the other hand also a lot of questions about Black holes are not yet clarified, such as the matter swirls right in the throat. After her postdoctoral fellowship with the Event Horizon Telescope, she plans to be an assistant professor in the CMS department at Caltech in 2019.

Scientists are hoping that the image will help them to understand Einstein's theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics. "Numerous features of the observed image match our theoretical understanding surprisingly well", said Paul T.P. Ho, a board member on the project and director of the East Asian Observatory.

The light in the photograph was added in by scientists because the picture was taken at a wavelength the human eye can not see.



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