Scientists Reveal The First Ever Image of A Black Hole

in news •  last month 

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A few days back I had written in a post that scientists may be gearing up to announce that they had managed to take the first ever image of a black hole. And yesterday, they announced that they had indeed managed to do so.

To recap, black holes are these cosmic objects that suck in everything around them. They are so dense and their gravitational force is so strong that no particles and even electromagnetic radiation can escape it.

So, it is obvious why we have never had a photo of an actual black hole. But thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope project, which is basically a network of telescopes spanning throught the planet, we now have our first image of a black hole.

Scientists had been targeting the supermassive blackhole at the centre of the M87 galaxy, which happens to be one of the largest galaxies in the local universe. The black hole is gigantic, almost the size of our solar system, with a mass of 6.5 billion suns!

The First

This achievement is surely one for the history books. It was made possible by the sheer determination of the team and a highly advanced system they had in place. This is even more impactful as a few decades ago, people didn't even believe in black holes, let alone having the capability of taking an image of one.

Also, now that we have directly observed a black hole, Albert Einstein's century hold theory of relativity has become even more tried and tested, now even in the extreme conditions of a black hole. It was on the basis of his theory that other scientists had predicted what a black hole could look like and it matches closely to the real thing.

We do not yet have the image of the supermassive black hole at the centre of our own galaxy, called Sagittarius A* but I think we will get one in the near future.

For now, the team at EHT has said that the next images of the M87 black hole will be crisper than the one we got as they have upgraded the system (things like the addition of more telescopes to the network). I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in the future. Here's to many more breakthroughs like this!


Image Credits - Event Horizon Telescope

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Hey, @sauravrungta.

So, that's not scary or anything (size of 6.5 billion suns).

It's a good thing it's not anywhere near us, but then, I guess Sagittarius "A" is close enough.

It is pretty interesting how they were able to do this through many telescopes around the world training on it.

Have you heard about what other projects they might use this technique for, or is it exclusively to see blackholes with? I would think with an eye the size of a planet (figuratively speaking), we could see all sorts of things. :)

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Yeah, it's amazing how they were able to leverage many telescopes to get a photo.

Right now, I've only read that they will be trying to get better photos and also a photo of Sagittarius A*.

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I think it's something definitely worth keeping an eye on. The better they get at this, the clearer images become, the more there might actually be. The issue is always going to be light, and if it's just a whole in space, that's harder to convey. It would be horrifying, in my opinion, to run across one of those things after it was too late and know you were being sucked into it, virtually no matter what.

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Yeah, it would be great to get higher resolution images.

I don't think it would be too late to know about a black hole that was sucking us. In fact, if the Sun was replaced by a black hole of the same mass, all the planets would simply continue to revolve around it.

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I suppose as far as rotating around our now blackhole sun, such a thing might be possible since we're so many million miles away, but then, of course, we'd be faced with another problem, no sun, so as far as having any warning about the blackhole, we'd be pretty much dead, anyway. :)

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Thanks!

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