This is the first ever photo of a black hole

Katie Ramirez
April 18, 2019

The pattern indicates that the black hole is rotating clockwise from our perspective, Heino Falcke, a radio astronomer at Radboud University in the Netherlands and a member of the Event Horizon Telescope team, said in an email.

"It's incredible to me that we can. see a supermassive black hole in the heart of a galaxy 55 million light years away. This will let us go from making still images of black holes to making movies", Doeleman said.

Scientists on Wednesday revealed the first image ever made of a black hole, depicting a fiery ring of gravity-twisted light swirling around the edge of the abyss.

The shadow of the black hole is in the center of the image. These emissions are being produced just outside the black hole's event horizon, where the extremely hot gases orbiting it are heated to several billions of degrees Kelvin, with the event horizon itself appearing as a silhouetted dark disk against a bright background - features that confirm what theoretical physicists predicted in the run-up to today. Scientists predict that the hole is approximately 53 million light-years away from Earth.

To perform the observation, the astronomers battled bad weather and glitchy electric grids. For this they have set up a worldwide telescope network.

The five other telescopes are the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), the IRAM 30-meter telescope, the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, the Submillimeter Telescope, and the South Pole Telescope, Liao said.

The reveal of the image is a huge milestone for the study of black holes.

Taiwan also leads the Greenland Telescope project, through Academia Sinica in collaboration with the United States' Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and that was incorporated into the EHT past year.

For the first time ever, scientists have captured and released the image of a black hole. "We got another look into the unknown".

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The foundations for this discovery were laid more than 100 years ago, when Albert Einstein published the equations that defined modern gravitational physics.

WARDLE: Until recently, GR had only been tested within our solar system, where the differences between Einstein's gravity and Newton's gravity are small and hard to measure. In turn, curved space and time ("spacetime") tells matter how to move. The image even brings the opportunity to rethink established knowledge like Einstein's theory of general relativity.

So after the decade of investment, the sleepless nights, the petabytes of data, the heroic imaging efforts, was the Event Horizon Telescope worth the investment?

Einstein found the notion so preposterous that he devoted an entire research paper to debunking it. We expected the two largest (in terms of apparent size) black holes to be M87* and the Milky Way's own black hole, Sagittarius A*. Unlike smaller holesthat come from lost stars, supermassive black holes are mysterious in origin.

The project name "event horizon" means the boundary of a black hole, the institute said. Now scientists think black holes lurk in the hearts of other galaxies.

But seeing is believing, noted Dan Marrone, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona who sits on the EHT's science council.

Sag. A* and M87 were the two most promising targets for such a project.

The project succeeded because of global cooperation among 20 countries and about 200 scientists at a cost of $50 million to $60 million, according to the National Science Foundation. To them in any kind of detail, scientists would need a telescope as big as the planet - and of course, no such thing existed. It's developing it that takes a very long time.

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