The World's First Photo of a Black Hole

12 April, 2019, 09:58 | Author: Barbara Erickson
  • First black hole image How to watch the 'groundbreaking' announcement

But a prediction made by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity stated that under certain circumstances, an outline of a black hole and its light-swallowing event horizon could be seen, according to representatives of the Haystack Observatory at MIT, which houses one of the EHT telescopes.

NASA says the images were made possible through an global network of radio telescopes and an worldwide collaboration with the National Science Foundation. This black hole now sits about 55 million light-years away in galaxy M87.

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.

This bright image was revealed by researchers at a number of worldwide press conferences today.

Black holes are so massive they warp space and time and allow no light to escape, so the photo is expected to be of the "edge" of the phenomenon.

Multiple calibration and imaging methods were used to reveal a ring-like structure with a dark central region - the black hole's shadow - that persisted over seven consecutive days of observation, Asada explained.

There are many mysteries about the nature of black holes, including why some eject material in these jets, despite being known as inescapable objects.

The stunning first-of-its-kind image depicts a black hole in the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy, 55 million light years from Earth, with a mass of 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun.

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This is why [the National Science Foundation] exists.

First, this is the first time that theories of gravity (Einstein's general relativity and others) have been tested in such strong-gravity environments.

The Malaysian scientist who was a postdoctoral researcher at the Dark Cosmology Centre of the Niels Bohr Institute in the University of Copenhagen between 2013 and 2016 believes that the discovery of the black hole image is just the first step into a new era of astrophysics, reported Malay Mail. "This kind of structure can only be formed if something is rotating - could be matter around it or black hole itself".

The files were so large they were too big for the internet; team members had to carry their findings around the world on hard drives. Well, not just that, but it's obviously the most important bit. Indeed, until now, we only had indirect measurements of activity around black holes (in the disk of in-falling matter, before it crosses the event horizon and disappears forever).

Before unveiling the picture, the European commissioner for research, Carlos Moedas, said we are about to experience a first for humanity.

But it was not until today, that scientists have been able to see in person one of the monstrous wells of gravity out in space.

Professor Davis said she was "dumbstruck" when she saw the image. "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. The technique for synchronizing observations effectively turns their network into a huge radio telescope nearly as wide as our planet.


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