What Did Scientists Learn From First Black Hole Photo?

17 April, 2019, 14:56 | Author: Kelly Sanders
  • Soundgarden Fans Petition To Name Newly-Photographed Black Hole After Chris Cornell

Here on Planet Earth, the reflective glow of the photo brought to mind one of the 1990s biggest songs: Soundgarden's 1994 hit "Black Hole Sun".

The recent collaboration of over 200 scientists from around the world achieved the historic milestone of taking the first-ever picture of a black hole using Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a world-spanning network of telescopes. The moniker comes from an 18th-century chant describing the creation of the Hawaiian universe.

Numerous traits possessed by supermassive black holes continue to puzzle researchers, including the odd cases when some of them can release jets loaded with material even if they are inescapable objects and the feat should be impossible.

The research was conducted by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, an worldwide collaboration begun in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole using a global network of Earth-based telescopes. All previous pictures of black holes were either simulations or animations.

"The fact that the image is so close to what we predicted was really a striking confirmation that scientists know what they are doing".


The fact that black holes do not allow light to escape makes viewing them hard.

The image, he said, aligns with expectations of what a black hole should look like based on Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which predicts how space-time is warped by the extreme mass of a black hole.

This new research might change that.

The rest of us were treated to a picture of an event horizon, one most thought we'd never live to see - Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, being dragged out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London looking like an off-season and oft-fired Santa's helper that stayed on the Keto diet far too long.

"Aside from being the first time a black hole has been imaged by humans (which is an accomplishment in and of itself), this also provides exciting new opportunities to numerically test these predictions of general relativity very precisely against actual data". However, some black holes, especially supermassive ones, stand out due to the bright disks of gas and other material that form around them.

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