She's the scientist who helped create black hole pictures

16 April, 2019, 14:40 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • A radio telescope at the National Research Council's Dominion Astrophyscial Observatory in Penticton BC

Earlier this week the world received the first ever photographs of an actual black hole, and now Soundgarden fans are petitioning to name the phenomenon after the band's late frontman Chris Cornell. It is known that the supermassive black hole is located at a distance of 55 million light-years away from Earth and has an estimated mass which is up to 6.5 billion times bigger in comparison to the mass of our sun. The moniker comes from an 18th-century chant describing the creation of the Hawaiian universe.

But, the fuzzy image that looks like a ring of fire, "is the most direct visualization - it's a really dramatic step forward in our ability to say here is a black hole and it cast a shadow".

Using the Event Horizon Telescope, scientists obtained an image of the black hole at the center of galaxy M87, outlined by emission from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon. All previous pictures of black holes were either simulations or animations.

Meyers, who is not associated with EHT, said the most important takeaway from the image is that it allows scientists to test their understanding of how gravity works.

The fact that black holes do not allow light to escape makes viewing them hard.

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Einstein's baby, general relativity (E=MC squared was his mistress), predicts that any object collapsing beyond a certain point would form a black hole, inside which a singularity would appear.

This new research might change that.

Numerous traits possessed by supermassive black holes continue to puzzle researchers, including the unusual cases when some of them can release jets loaded with material even if they are inescapable objects and the feat should be impossible.

The research was conducted by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, an worldwide collaboration begun in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole using a global network of Earth-based telescopes. An worldwide team of researchers harnessed the power of eight different radio observatories which are spread around the world, as they aimed to more about supermassive black holes, including the one which is present in the center of the Milky Way. Yet, nobody knows how they formed or got so heavy. "We're seeing the unseeable".

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