tech2 News StaffApr 11, 2019 08:51:04 IST
Scientists revealed, in a historic first for black hole physics on Wednesday, the first image ever captured of a black hole's hot, shadowy edges where light bends around itself.
For the first time ever, people are witness to an actual photograph of a supermassive black hole 58 million light-years away in the Messier 87 galaxy, one of the most massive in our local Universe.
The achievement, made possible by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, has utilised multiple supercomputers, eight massive telescopes stationed scattered across different parts of the world, 200+ researchers and Petabytes of data to achieve.
The photograph and a few other observations from the EHT project were announced today at a joint press conference streamed live on multiple YouTube pages, including the National Science Foundation's.
Apart from the picture making the rounds in schools, colleges, and social media, results of the study have done a lot of amazing things for science. To begin with, it helped to confirm Einstein’s theory of general relativity (yet again) and gave astrophysicists the first and closest look yet at the enigmatic, chaotic phenomenon of black holes.
The EHT project has been working on a singular mission since it was founded in 2006 – to capture images of the immediate environment of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*, which is at the centre of the Milky Way. This still isn't something the researchers have shared their results on. While Sagittarius A* is far closer in distance than the M87 galaxy black hole that was imaged, there are some "cosmic coincidences" that made the photograph possible.
Black hole event horizon: Also read
- This is the first image of a black hole captured using a global network of telescopes
- First-ever direct photograph of black hole M87 event horizon revealed
- Stunning images of black holes we’ve never actually seen
- First image of black hole helps confirm Einstein's general relativity theory
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