In a much heralded scientific breakthrough a group of astronomers from the Event Horizon Telescope have unveiled the first-ever image of a black hole.
In one of the greatest path-breaking moves, a team of astronomers at Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) has revealed the first-ever image of a black hole. This huge declaration was made in the new conferences at Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Santiago, Brussels and Washington simultaneously as the findings of this mission were detailed by the Event Horizon Telescope, European Research Council as well as European Commission.
Even though they are gigantic in mass, black holes are extremely hard to observe. Photographing the interior of first-ever image of a black hole is impossible as the light which gets very close to the hole’s gravitational pull gets lost. This point is called the event horizon.
How did EHT do it?
The black hole is around 54 million light years away from Earth. All thanks to EHT and their observations of M87 galaxy’s center, scientists have not got their hands on the first-ever image of a black hole. The image depicts a very bright ring that has formed when the light bends after coming in contact with the black hole’s gravitational pull which is 6.5 billion times more than the Sun’s mass.
Event Horizon Telescope is formed by many observatories which scan the region around the super massive black hole which is at the center of the galaxy, called Sagittarius A*, as well as the black hole which is at the center of galaxy M87. The mission was aimed at capturing the very first image of the silhouette of a black hole. Prior to this, we have just come across the impressions of various artists.
Some more insights
The first data was gathered by the scientists in the month of April 2017. They carried out the process with the help of telescopes in Antarctica, Spain, Chile, Mexico and the US. Since that time, telescopes in Greenland and France have also been added to this global network. A planet-sized observational dish has been created by the global network.
Monika Moscibrodzka, an astrophysicist, has an explanation as to why the circle formed around the black hole’s shadow is not entirely a full ring, and gets brighter towards the bottom. This is because such a structure only forms when there is something rotating in the source. Either the first-ever image of a black hole, or the matter that surrounds it, or both of them could be in rotation. The images are not sharp enough for finding out the black hole’s rotation speed.
France Córdova, US National Science Foundation Director, called this move a “huge day in astrophysics”. He went on to say that now we can see the unseeable. Dr Shep Doeleman took to explaining how they surveyed Messier 87 galaxy with an attempt to successfully first-ever image of a black hole along with its core. Doeleman has stated that this milestone verifies Einstein’s theory of gravitation through one of the most extreme laboratories. He went on to express his wonder and astonishment on the fact that they could have just seen a blob but what they witnessed was something really true.