Top Trending Stories: First Ever Image of a Black Hole

First black hole image How to watch the 'groundbreaking' announcement

The black hole is a billion times heavier and more significant than our Sun. Read on to know how this was done. Three new telescopes - the IRAM NOEMA Observatory, the Greenland Telescope, and the Kitt Peak Telescope - are set to come online and join the black hole hunt. They are accepted by the scientific community in spite of an embarrassing admission: nobody has ever directly seen one. First of all, how does the bright ring around the hole form? "We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole", announced Sheperd Doeleman of Harvard, leader of the project. Black hole size is directly related to mass. Situated at the centre of most galaxies, including ours, they are so dense that nothing can escape their gravitational pull.

This major breakthrough was the result of an worldwide scientific collaboration called the Event Horizon Telescope project.

Luckily, the center of almost all galaxies contain an enormous black hole.

Yet black holes are a key laboratory for testing Einstein's theory of relativity, which is our best theory of gravity.

The world is finally about to see a black hole - not an artist's impression or a computer-generated likeness, but the real thing. More than 200 researchers were involved in the project. The larger the black hole, the larger the shadow.

The second type is the stellar black holes. Ordinary black holes, which have a mass the few times as big as our Sun, are only about as big as the city of Chicago. And its dimensions are huge as black holes go. And, luckily, the shadow cast by the black hole is about 2.5 times wider than the hole itself. Yet with more observations like this one they are yielding their secrets. Their diameter is equal to, or more than that of the solar system.

Even so, black holes had eluded us. The diameter of Sagittarius A is nearly the same as that of the sun. And, being perfectly black, tiny and very distant, black holes certainly qualify.

Logically, black holes can not be detected in the open. "To make sure these observations were truly simultaneous, so that we could see the same wavefront of light as it landed on each telescope, we used extremely precise atomic clocks at each of the telescopes". This is through observing the behavior of stars.

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The measurements were taken at a wavelength the human eye can not see, so the astronomers added color to the image, choosing gold and orange because the light is so hot. This creates an vast gravitational pull. The disk revolves and releases X-ray light.

Ever since the idea of black holes came into existence, so much effort has been put forward towards gathering as much information as possible. The Event Horizon Telescope that captured the data to create this image has Eight radio observatories located in six continents of the world. The properties were further deduced and published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. This black hole resides about 54 million light-years from Earth. In getting the instruments connected, they essentially created one Earth-size connected telescope.

"We see it to a degree again and again with prominent women in media, not just in science", she said. "It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe". In the image, a central dark region is encapsulated by a ring of light that looks brighter on one side.

Among the people that have received accolades for their contribution towards this great discovery is Katie Bouman.

Controversial men's rights activist Roosh V tweeted the picture of the black hole, alongside a snap of Bouman, the scientist responsible for the algorithm that captured the image.

In 2016, Bouman was one of the lead researchers at MIT who managed to code an algorithm that could connect the required data. It seems impossible. That's what it was like for scientists trying to capture an image of a black hole in space.

Avery Broderick, an associate professor at Ontario's University of Waterloo and faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, said the image helped convert science fiction into "science fact" while bolstering theories at the core of modern physics.

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