The First-Ever Image of a Real Black Hole Is Here

Katie Ramirez
October 29, 2019

The measurements are taken at a wavelength the human eye can not see, so the astronomers added color to the image.

"Breakthroughs in technology, connections between the world's best radio observatories, and innovative algorithms all came together to open an entirely new window on black holes and the event horizon".

Black holes are extremely compressed cosmic objects, containing incredible amounts of mass within a tiny region.

But how do you take a picture of something that doesn't radiate light?

OK, that's still really hard. Some people think it will be possible to use a spacecraft (warp navigation) like in a science fiction movie in the far future, and others, more practically, think that an accumulation of know-hows of spectroscopy, which observes and analyzes physical conundrums such as black hole, electromagnetic engineering and physics will be useful for communication and electromagnetic.

EHT initially targeted two black holes for observation. Despite decades of indirect evidence supporting their existence, black holes have never been captured by camera - until now. The closer the plasma is to the black hole, the faster it will be orbiting the black hole (just as Mercury orbits the Sun in 88 days, but Neptune takes 165 years).

It looks like the plasma in the image is moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light. In the middle is the shadow of the black hole.

Just like the Australian Synchrotron, these electrons emit light (synchrotron radiation) which then traveled from M87* to Earth to make this attractive image.

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Neilsen and colleagues who were part of the coordinated observations will be working on dissecting the entire spectrum of light coming from the M87 black hole, all the way from low-energy radio waves to high-energy gamma rays. The image that the EHT team produced is not actually a picture of a black hole, even though it does appear to have a "black hole" at the center of a bright disk. If you drop a flashlight toward a black hole and it slips within the event horizon, no one will ever again see the light from the flashlight. The black hole itself has such high gravity that it swallows light, and it can not be observed with any conventional optical or electromagnetic telescope. The EHT researchers called it the "shadow of a black hole". That's a mass range of 100,000,000 (or a hundred million). This effect was predicted by Einstein's theory of general relativity.

We already had an idea of how massive M87* was by measuring the velocities of gas and stars near the centre of the galaxy.

Part of the Milky Way, the constellation of Sagittarius.

However, even if Pōwehi does begin to catch on as the M87 black hole's new name, it won't be considered official without the recognition of the IAU, according to Shara. M87* weighs 6.5 billion solar masses, plus or minus 10 per cent.

The scientists are also hopeful that this discovery will usher in a new era of black hole observations. This is the first time that the actual form of black hole has been observed since Albert Einstein, who figured out the relationship between gravity and time and space, presented the theory of relativity 104 years ago. 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*.

No single telescope is powerful enough to capture an image of a black hole, one of the star-devouring entities scattered throughout the universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity. However, as the saying goes, seeing is believing.

Imaging the black hole at the centre of the M87 galaxy confirms the presence of supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies. Located at the heart of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87), the black hole in the image is generally called "M87's black hole", or "M87*", with the asterisk at the end indicating that it's the center of the galaxy, experts told Live Science.

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