Scientists set to unveil first picture of a black hole


At last, April 10 could mark the day scientists have been anticipating for more than a century as the first image of a black hole is expected to finally be revealed. "For the first time, the Event Horizon Telescope combines sufficient millimeter observatories at large enough separation to get image the silhouette of the black holes in the Milky Way (SgrA*) and M87".

"Such observations could lead to images of strong gravity effects that are expected near a black hole, and to the direct detection of dynamics near the black hole as matter orbits at near light speeds", the EHT said.

The US National Science Foundation has scheduled a news conference in Washington to announce a "groundbreaking result from the Event Horizon Telescope project".

Sera Markoff of the University of Amsterdam. Scientists linked up telescopes around the world to create one, Earth-sized virtual telescope.

To conduct their discoveries, the EHT looked at two supermassive black holes: Sagittarius A* at the center of our Milky Way galaxy and M87, at the center of nearby galaxy Virgo A.

First, it is really hard to get an image of a black hole, and the impending image release has taken years of work and infinite amounts of collaborative engineering from scientist located all across the globe.

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"Nevertheless, it will be very nice and gratifying to see the black hole shadows directly", Lai said.

The EHT project, an worldwide scientific collaboration, was formed in 2012 as a means of directly observing the area immediately surrounding a black hole.

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The telescopes that collected that initial data are located in the USA states of Arizona and Hawaii as well as Mexico, Chile, Spain and Antarctica.

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"The gathered data are synthesised using the times as a reference, so that the arrival time of the radio waves to each antenna can be accurately adjusted".

But those were tiny black holes - only 60 times more massive than the Sun - compared to either of the ones under the gaze of the EHT.

Yet despite technological advancements in astronomical imaging, black holes have remained an enigma, partly because they are so compact and dense.

Massive, ravenous, powerful beyond measure - physicists are convinced that black holes exist, even if no one has directly observed one.

But scientists still know a lot about black holes because of the impact they have.

Fortunately, more telescopes have joined the campaign over the past couple of years, and astronomers are working on ways to improve their data processing methods.

And the black hole is only located about 26,000 light-years away from Earth - a distance of 152,844,260,000,000,000 miles (245,978,990,000,000,000km).