Scientists Reportedly Capture the First Image of a Black Hole

Brenda Watkins
April 11, 2019

And it's as hot, as violent and as attractive as science fiction imagined.

Using a global network of telescopes to see "the unseeable", an worldwide scientific team on Wednesday announced a milestone in astrophysics - the first-ever photo of a black hole - in an achievement that validated a pillar of science put forward by Albert Einstein more than a century ago.

It was a momentous occasion for all of astronomy when scientists unleashed the news that they have captured the first ever image of a black hole.

It's well known that a black hole's gravity is so overpowering that even light can not escape its center. Light gets bent and twisted around by gravity in a freakish funhouse effect as it gets sucked into the abyss along with superheated gas and dust. "While we confirmed the existence of black holes and studied their properties in so many ways, nothing beats a direct observation", University of Southern California professor Clifford Johnson told MIT Technology Review in advance of the announcement. Einstein even predicted the object's neatly symmetrical shape. "We're seeing the unseeable".

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. It is devouring the insides of a galaxy about 55 million light years away. The new image, published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and announced around the world in several news conferences, adds light to that sound.

Newly Discovered Sea Creature Fossil Named After Cthulhu
Boffins claim its diet likely consisted of algae and other tiny microorganisms - just like modern sea cucumbers . In addition, it used tentacles for movement.

In the image of the black hole, some saw "Superunknown", the 1994 album from the band Soundgarden, which of course produced the hit single "Black Hole Sun".

The light in the photograph was added in by scientists because the picture was taken at a wavelength the human eye can not see.

The Black Hole picture has been seen as a breakthrough for scientists. Will Einstein's model, having held up spectacularly against every test imaginable in Earth's gravitational field, hold up to tests performed in a gravitational field more than two trillion times the mass of our sun? Beyond the event horizon, the huge forces involved will super-heat surrounding gases and other materials, as well as warping space-time itself. Unlike smaller black holes, which come from collapsed stars, supermassive black holes are mysterious in origin.

This story has been corrected to show that the black hole is located in the M87 galaxy, and not the Milky Way. What you're actually looking at is the fact that M87's black hole is probably spinning. But the person would never be seen from again. Usually depicted with a crescent moon representing righteousness on his forehead, Justice Bao instead sports a tiny version of the black hole in one meme. When the conference begins, you will be able to watch the live stream below. While the current scientific results do not incorporate their data, future calculations will be released combining radio and x-ray studies to provide a more complete picture of the interior of the Virgo galactic cluster's second brightest galaxy.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article