Black Holes are Cool. Here's the Very First Picture of One

Black Holes are Cool. Here's the Very First Picture of One

What Exactly is a Black Hole Event Horizon (and What Happens There)? The news conference slated at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. shall be presided over by France Córdova, head of the National Science Foundation.

The image shows the boundary between light and dark around a black hole, which is also called the event horizon, known as the point of no return, where the gravity of the black hole is so intense that nothing that enters it can ever escape.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 ― Kevin Koay Jun Yi from Penang has the distinction of being among the first team of global scientists to have captured the first image of a black hole ― an astronomical achievement that is making waves worldwide since its release yesterday.

Black holes are made up of huge amounts of matter squeezed into a very, very small area.

This twisting motion causes them to release photons, which is the main source of emission from matter close to the black hole.

Black holes are not easy to capture on camera because they are surrounded by thick dust material and extremely hot gases.


The mass of this black hole is estimated to be 6.5 billion times the mass of Sun.

The observations were carried out in April 2017, but it took two years to process the data.

Harvard University scientist Sheperd Doeleman leads the EHT project. "We think we can make the image perhaps a little sharper through algorithms", Doleman said.

"We now have visual evidence for a black hole", he continued. Rather, thanks to heroic efforts by schedulers at Chandra, EHT, and NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, as well as by the EHT's Multiwavelength Working Group, Chandra was used to observe M87 and other targets during the EHT campaign.

Supermassive black holes such as the one in the photograph are considered a scientific mystery.

'We now have an entirely new way of discovering black holes that we've never had before, and like all new discoveries this is just the beginning'. Its event horizon is spherical in shape and about three times bigger than the path Pluto traces around the Sun.


Researchers said in a statement that the EHT project created an Earth-sized "virtual telescope" to capture the highest possible image quality.

The team's observations strongly validated the theory of general relativity proposed in 1915 by Einstein, the famed theoretical physicist, to explain the laws of gravity and their relation to other natural forces.

Scientists are hoping that the image will help them to understand Einstein's theory of general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Our own Milky Way galaxy has just such a black hole at its core. In an email, Agol also noted that a colleague of his at UW, Bruce Balick, was in on the discovery of Sagittarius A* 45 years ago. He added that he felt very satisfied that the image did not contain any big surprises.

"To give you an idea of how small a thing you can see, if you're sitting in a pub in Perth, you would be able to see a guy sitting in the pub in Sydney, not only would you be able to see him, you'd be able to see his eye colour, and you'd be able to see the brand of beer he was drinking", she said. "We saw something that really had a ring to it if you can use that phrase".


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