Historical: Publish the first real image of a black hole

This is the first image of the black hole that is in the center of the Galaxy Mesier 87, to 55 million of light years of our planet. A photo of the point of no return.

For The first time we can see the real aspect of a black hole and not just a simulation of science fiction or scientific illustration.

This morning, the team of scientists of the project Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) published the most tangible test until the moment of the existence of a black hole.

Photography is part of the Event Horizon Telescope Project (EHT), a collaborative international network that began a decade ago and announced today that it captured the first image of the black hole in the center of a galaxy. The EHT is the combination of 8 observatories around the world: SMT (Arizona) SMA (Hawaii) JCMT (Hawaii) APEX (Chile) ALMA (Chile) SPT (Antarctica) IRAM (Spain) and LMT (Mexico). The information you collect is so accurate that you only “skip” a photo for every second of every 10 million of years.

Black holes are extremely dense matter, objects of such an incredible mass and a tiny volume that drastically deforms the fabric of space-time. As the National Science Foundation explains, “everything that happens too close, from a wandering star to the light, is captured.” Most black holes are the condensed remains of a massive star whose collapsed core remains after an explosive supernova.

The goal is to approach the event horizon of each black hole, the surface beyond which gravity is so strong that nothing that crosses it can come back out. “The Point of no return,” they call it. By capturing images of what is happening outside of this area, scientists will be able to put Einstein’s general theory of relativity in one of his most stringent tests so far. Images could also help explain how some supermassive black holes produce jets of energy and govern their respective galaxies and beyond, explains Nature News.

Scientists are not even sure what these jets are made of, but they seem to play a role in the cosmos. In particular, by heating the interstellar matter, the jets can prevent the material from cooling to form stars, which stops the growth of the galaxy, says Avery Broderick, an astrophysicist at the University of Waterloo (Canada) to Nature.

The most probable explanation for jets, say astrophysicists, is that they occur by rapidly twisting magnetic fields just outside the black hole, but it is not clear where their energy comes from.

On the other hand, with photography, Einstein’s theory of gravity will be tested for the first time in the conditions of a supermassive black hole. This will continue from the historical discoveries announced last year by LIGO, the Gravitational Wave Observatory by Laser Interferometer, which captured the signal of gravitational waves produced by the fusion of black holes as massive as Big stars. His findings were regarded as the most dramatic evidence until the date of the existence of black holes.

How did you take the picture?

According to AFP, with the aim of having an image of these regions, eight telescopes, pointed simultaneously from different points of the planet to two black holes: a Sagittarius A *, in the center of the Milky Way and located at 26,000 light years of the Earth (with a mass equal to the D E 4 million of Suns) and to another Galaxy M87, in the center of the galaxy but much farther, to 55 million of light years of our planet (with a black hole of 6.5 billion of times the mass of the sun).

Telescopes generated a scale never attempted by science: 5 petabytes of data each night, enough to fill about 2,000 hard drives each night, or save the equivalent to the daily selfies, from birth to death, of 4,000 people.

Saved the proportions, the telescopes make up a camera the size of the Earth. Rather, instead of being a giant telescope, they use several that function as a mirror system.



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