The science world is in great excitement, because 2 days ago the very first real photo of a black hole was taken and finally published. A world sensation! The scientists describe it with the words: Unbelievable! Massive! Black!
This is the first real black hole mankind has ever seen. All previous images of black holes were computer generated. They were created from people's fantasies, or rather they were depicted as they should look according to research and calculations.
The photo shows the supermassive black hole in the center of the giant galaxy Messier 87 and is about 55 million light years away from Earth. Just to clarify: 9.5 trillion km is one light year. M87 is 1500 times larger than the black hole in the center of our milky way and has a mass of more than six billion solar masses.
The project that made this photo possible is the Event Horizon Telescope. An association of eight radio telescopes distributed all over the world. This was the only way to get so close to such a distant object.
The black hole in the center of Messier 87 was observed over a very long period of time. Before the scientists were sure what they were seeing and what was happening there, researches and calculations were made again and again until the scientists were finally sure what they were seeing.
This photo and also the observation of this spectacular object proves that Albert Einstein was right. His theory of relativity says that so-called accretion discs form around black holes. This is matter consisting of dust and gas, which accelerates so strongly at such a high speed around the black hole due to its gravity that it heats up to millions of degrees and becomes so visible. However, this has not been possible so far. Strictly speaking, you couldn't see it because it even swallows the light itself. That means we see the shadow of the black hole in the middle of the glowing ring. In the middle is the so-called event horizon. Everything that crosses this horizon will fall after a certain time into the black hole. On the photo the lower part of the accretion disc is wider. This is due to the rotation. The disc rotates clockwise, say the scientists from the Event Horizon team.
The picture is a world sensation. It shows that black holes actually look like the research and calculations predicted and it really lives up to its name. It really shows itself to us as a circular black hole in space time. What we see here is real. Here we look at nothing but an image that doesn't reflect what we understand by space, i.e. living space. This is where classical space and time as we know them end. This is the first time we can see a real time machine with our own eyes.
One thing is clear: this photo is a milestone in the history of mankind and who knows, maybe there are things exactly in this discs of which we never dared to dream...