Is This an Actual Photograph of a Black Hole?


An global team of scientists shared the first image of a supermassive black hole captured by the Event Horizon Telescope on Wednesday morning.

The Malaysian scientist who was a postdoctoral researcher at the Dark Cosmology Centre of the Niels Bohr Institute in the University of Copenhagen between 2013 and 2016 believes capturing the black hole image has opened up a new door in astrophysics. This is known as the black hole's shadow or silhouette.

The picture shows the black hole having a dark center, encircled by a bright orange and yellow ring spreading outward. No matter has a chance to ever escape the black hole and return to the universe.

Black holes, phenomenally dense celestial entities, are extraordinarily hard to observe by their very nature despite their great mass.

The research was conducted by the Event Horizon Telescope project, an worldwide collaboration begun in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole using a global network of Earth-based telescopes. It took two years of computer analysis to produce the image and to confirm that humanity had captured something never seen before.

Taken over four days when astronomers had "to have the ideal weather all across the world and literally all the stars had to align", the image helps confirm Einstein's general relativity theory, Dempsey said. The black hole in question is about seven billion times more massive than our sun, and was described by the Times as "a smoke ring framing a one-way portal to eternity". The observatories, located in Hawaii, Arizona, Chile, Mexico, Spain and Antarctica, individually captured the black hole's radio signals over four nights in April 2017, when the weather was optimal in all six regions. But if a person were to somehow get close to this black hole, it might not look quite like that, astronomers said. Black holes have eluded astronomers for more than a century since Einstein first theorized their existence.

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"Like a time-lapse exposure, this slowly builds up an image of even a very dim source", the NSF says. When a black hole isn't "eating" nearby dust and gas, it's completely invisible.

Three years ago, scientists used highly sensitive observing equipment to pick up the sound of two smaller black holes coming together to create a gravitational wave.

The cooperation of so many countries was conducted within the project called Event Horizon Telescope. At the center of the galaxy is a supermassive black hole. The other, Sagittarius A*, is in Earth's galaxy, the Milky Way.

The term "black hole" refers to a point in space where matter is so compressed that it creates a gravity field from which even light can not escape. Our simulations, which are based on the motion of magnetic fields and hot gas near the black hole, showed that the jets are powered by the black hole itself.

The image captured is the result of years of worldwide collaboration, which offers scientists a new way to study the most extreme objects in the Universe predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity during the centennial year of the historic experiment that first confirmed the theory, according to Academia Sinica. He was part of the data processing and imaging teams. All they need are more telescopes to hopefully capture sharper images of this mysterious object. They also needed to ensure that the processor would not incorrectly use machine learning and be biased towards creating images that would match the expectations of the scientists.