Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
Entertaiment | By Minnie Bishop

The first-ever photo of a black hole is expected very soon

The first-ever photo of a black hole is expected very soon

Scientists revealed the first-ever glimpse of a super-massive black hole Wednesday, as the Event Horizon Telescope released the first results of its findings in a "ground-breaking" discovery that opens up questions about conventional physics.

The picture, assembled from data gathered by eight radio telescopes around the world, shows the hot, shadowy lip of a supermassive black hole, one of the light-sucking monsters of the universe theorized by Einstein more than a century ago and confirmed by observations for decades.

Black holes are phenomenally dense celestial entities with gravitational fields so powerful no matter or light can escape, making them extraordinarily hard to observe despite their great mass. Furthermore, they are aiming to find out why supermassive black holes project subatomic particles out into the galaxy and universe. Both black holes, which might be shown on Wednesday fall into the latter category. In 2015, gravitational waves were confirmed directly by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), which detected the ripples created by a merger between two black holes.

More than 13 billion years after they formed, the light that was released to create these distant massive black holes is now reaching our telescopes.

The announcement was made in simultaneous news conferences in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo.

The experiment was called the Event Horizon Telescope, named for the event horizon, or the edge of the black hole, Gammie said.

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The shadow bit is important, since imaging a black hole directly is somewhat tricky: everything gets pulled into the thing, even light.

"As an astrophysicist, this is a thrilling day for me", said National Science Foundation Director France A. Córdova.

The project, which relied on data from a global network of telescopes, targeted two supermassive black holes at the centre of different galaxies.

While others took issue with the apparent lack of clarity and blurriness of the image, despite the superhuman efforts of the scientists and astronomers.

As Lai explained, it's hard to see black hole shadows clearly because any images are blurred by interstellar gas, which presents a complicated challenge for the EHT team.

The conference, which is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. EST, is expected to provide the first visuals of a black hole, giving us an idea of what the incredibly powerful objects look like.

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