Black hole photo: View the first image captured by the Event Horizon telescope
This is the first direct visual evidence that there are black holes, researchers say. In the image, the central dark area is encapsulated with a ring of light that looks brighter on one side.
The massive galaxy, called Messier 87 or M87, is located near the cluster of the Virgin galaxy 55 million light-years away from Earth. The supermassive black hole has a mass that is 6.5 billion times greater than the mass of our Sun. For reference, this is more than the orbit of Neptune, which takes 200 years to make one orbit around the Sun.
"We saw what we thought was invisible," said Shepherd Doelman, director of the collaboration of the event horizon telescope. "We saw and photographed a black hole."
Collaboration with the Horizon events telescope, called EHT, is the global network of telescopes that captured the first black hole photo. More than 200 researchers were involved in the project. They have worked more than ten years to grab this. The project is named after the horizon of events proposed by the boundary around the black hole, which represents the point of no return, where light or radiation can not escape.
In an attempt to capture the image of a black hole, scientists have merged power. with eight radio telescopes around the world using the interferometry of a very long baseline, according to the European Southern Observatory, which is part of the EHT. It actually creates a virtual telescope of approximately the same size as the Earth itself. submillimeter array, submillimeter telescope and telescope of the South Pole.
"Observations were a coordinated dance in which we simultaneously pointed out our telescopes in a carefully planned sequence," said Daniel Marrone, a professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona. "To make sure that these observations were really simultaneous so that we could see the very wave front of the light as it landed on each telescope, we used extremely accurate atomic clocks on each of the telescopes."
The massive telescope collected 5000 trillion. data for two weeks that were processed through supercomputers so that scientists could get an image
Details of the observation were published in a series of six scientific articles published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
What are black holes?
Black holes consist of a huge amount of matter enclosed in a small area, according to NASA, creating a massive gravitational field that attracts everything around it, including light. They also have a way to heat the material around them and distort the space. The material is accumulated around black holes, heats up to billions of degrees and reaches almost the speed of light. The light leans around the gravity of the black hole, which creates a photon ring that is visible in the image.
"If plunged into a bright area like the disk is luminous gas, we expect that a black hole will create a dark area that looks like a shadow – something is foreseen by the general theory of Einstein's relativity, which we have never seen before, "said Heinho Falk, head of the EHT Scientific Council." This shadow is caused by a gravitational bend and the capture of light by the horizon by It reveals a lot about the nature of these fascinating objects and allowed us to measure the huge mass of black hole M87. "
The visual confirmation of the black hole serves as confirmation of the theory of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.In Einstein's theory, he predicted that dense, compact the space areas will have such intense gravity that nothing can escape them. But if the heated plasma materials surround a black hole and emit light, the horizon of events can be seen.
"When we were convinced that we were depicting a shadow, we could compare our observations with extensive computer models that include distorted space physics, superheated matter and strong magnetic fields. Many of the features of the observed image are surprisingly well suited to our theoretical understanding, "said Paul TP Ho, EHT board member and director of the East Asian Observatory." This makes us confident in interpreting our observations, including our assessment of the mass of the black hole. "
The black hole M87 has a huge mass, which gives researchers the reason to believe that this may be the most visible black hole on Earth. As for other objects, the supermassive black holes are actually small, which is why they could not be seen before, the size of the black holes is directly related to the mass, the larger the black hole, the more the shadow, and the black holes may seem invisible, but the way to interact with the material around them – This is a return, the researchers said.
"Black holes have been a fantasy for decades," said director of the National Science Foundation France Cordova. "They have exotic properties and are mysterious for us, but with more of these observations they give way to their secrets, that's why NSF exists." We allow scientists and engineers to cover up the unknown, reveal the subtle and complex grandeur of our universe. "
Jack Guy made his Contribution to this report.