Scientists Share the First-Ever Photo of a Black Hole

Scientists Share the First-Ever Photo of a Black Hole

The globe-spanning network of eight radio telescopes focused on the supermassive monster in the galaxy M87 to create the first-ever picture of a black hole.

The image of Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, is set to be released tomorrow.

While scientists involved in the research declined to disclose the findings ahead of the formal announcement, they are clear about their goals.

"We have seen what we thought was unseeable", said Sheperd Doeleman, director of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

The news conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. (1300 GMT) on Wednesday.

A breakthrough in black hole detection promises to answer a question that has dogged scientists since Albert Einstein proposed the existence of black holes in his general theory of relativity: how do you document the presence of something that's invisible? That theory, put forward in 1915, was meant to explain the laws of gravity and their relation to other natural forces.

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The photo of the black hole has been captured by the EHT taking up radiation from particles in the disk that are really hot.

Then there are the so-called supermassive black holes, which are at least a million times bigger than the sun.

The EHT's other target, M87, is notable for shooting out a fast jet of charged subatomic particles that stretches for some 5,000 light years.

"I'd expect it to be more of a whitish glow that is brighter along the crescent, dimmer at the other points, and then black where the black hole is casting its shadow", he said. But the biggest black holes are the ones that form at the center of galaxies as they evolve. In fact, the data for the images to be released were gathered way back in 2017. (The PBS NewsHour visited one in Chile when the project was still under discussion).

The first ever black hole to be photographed has been unveiled by scientists - and it is three million times the size of the Earth. The gravitational pull is so strong that even light can not escape. The photograph, which features a handsome, burning orange light surrounding a dark circle, is described as being a "black hole's silhouette".

Black holes are extremely dense pockets of matter with incredible mass and minuscule volume. This gas in this area heats up to billions of degrees, creating a silhouette, the shape of which should be able to be predicted by Einstein's theory of gravity.