Explained: The Tech Behind How The 'Historic' Black Hole Image Was Captured

Explained: The Tech Behind How The 'Historic' Black Hole Image Was Captured

Explained: The Tech Behind How The 'Historic' Black Hole Image Was Captured

This Black is located at the centre of Galaxy M87.

If a dying star is massive enough, on the order of 10 or 20 times as massive as our sun, it's likely to collapse into a black hole when it dies.

The Event Horizon Telescope project and the National Science Foundation will "announce a groundbreaking result" at a press conference on Wednesday at 9 a.m. EDT, which will be livestreamed here. Surrounding a black hole is a space called "event horizon, where anything that comes within gets consumed due to the black hole's gravity". This black hole is an almost-unimaginable 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun.

The telescope data was gathered by the Event Horizon Telescope two years ago, but it took so long to complete the image because it was a massive undertaking, involving about 200 scientists, supercomputers and hundreds of terabytes of data delivered worldwide by plane. It was Albert Einstein that first theorized that objects like black holes might exist, and further research suggested that they were actually fairly common in the universe, even though no human had never seen one.

"We have seen what we thought was unseeable", Sheperd Doeleman from Harvard University's Black Hole Initiative said in Washington.

But, through worldwide collaboration and an array of instruments, the team built a virtual telescope essentially as large as Earth itself, allowing them to peer into Messier 87, which lies 55 million light years away, to see the black hole at its center.

The project succeeded because of worldwide cooperation among 20 countries and about 200 scientists at a cost of $50 million to $60 million, according to the National Science Foundation.

The image even brings the opportunity to rethink established knowledge like Einstein's theory of general relativity. "The black hole is the Dark Souls dark sign", @GenePark tweeted, referencing the notoriously hard video game.

"We found literally the proverbial hole in the middle of this galaxy, and to me that is just stunning", said astrophysicist Dimitrios Psaltis of the University of Arizona, the EHT project scientist.

Dr. Monika Mościbrodzka said: 'Supermassive black holes are scattered all over the Universe.

"That was also predicted by relativity - that if it was spinning, and most things do tend to spin, then it would have one side that was brighter than the other". Others said that the picture reminded them of the eye of Sauron, of Marvel's Galactus, of orange-frosted donuts, and the Xbox's "Red Ring of Death".

"We've made a dish the size of the planet", she told ABC's Catalyst earlier this year.

The concept of black holes has captivated scientists for two centuries. The technique for synchronizing observations effectively turns their network into a huge radio telescope nearly as wide as our planet.

He said: "The history of man and of science will be divided into the time before the image and the time after the image".

To receive them, scientists like UA Astronomy professor Dan Barrone tied together eight radio telescopes at six locations. At last, they tried their discoveries against the consequences of a million recreations of what a black hole may resemble, until finally they recognized a match.

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