Black hole event horizon: Here is what it looks like

Posted April 11, 2019

But it turns out that it was easier to capture M87's black hole, which is more than 50 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo - about 2,000 times as far as Sagittarius A*.

The US National Science Foundation has scheduled a news conference in Washington to announce a "groundbreaking result from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project", an global partnership formed in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole.

"Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87", officials with EHT project announced on Twitter.

"We've exposed a part of our universe we've never seen before", Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, said when revealing the first picture ever taken of a black hole.

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The Event Horizon Telescope uses a bunch of radio telescopes of different capacities, spread around Earth, that are linked together to combine signals. Because of this enormous mass, black holes warp spacetime, heating the dust and gas around them to extreme temperatures, according to NSF. Many marveled at how much the film's rendering of a black hole called Gargantua resembled the image released on Wednesday.

The reveal of the image is a huge milestone for the study of black holes. Black holes exist from the size of a human cell to more massive than the sun.

The press events are scheduled in Washington DC, Brussels, Santiago, Chile, Shanghai, Taipei, Taiwan, and Tokyo.

According to Sky and Telescope magazine "black holes are among the weirdest things in astronomy", and their existence was first predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity.

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Two years ago, an worldwide collective of scientists joined forces to take pictures of two black holes located at the centers of galaxies.

Scientists said the discovery "pushes the boundaries of modern science".

While others took issue with the apparent lack of clarity and blurriness of the image, despite the superhuman efforts of the scientists and astronomers. Black holes form from remnants of a large star that dies in a supernova explosion. Situated at the centre of most galaxies, including ours, they are so dense that nothing, not even light, can escape their gravitational pull.

A black hole's gravity creates a funhouse effect where you can see light from both behind the black hole and behind you as the light curves and circles around the black hole.

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