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TechnologyEvent Horizon Telescope saw a black hole. It could change everything

08:56  09 april  2019
08:56  09 april  2019 Source:   cnet.com

Astronomers set to make 'groundbreaking' black hole announcement

Astronomers set to make 'groundbreaking' black hole announcement We may be about to see the first ever photo of a black hole.

In the sights of the so-called " Event Horizon Telescope " will be the monster black hole at the centre of our galaxy. Although never seen directly, this object This combines a network of widely spaced radio antennas to mimic a telescope aperture that can produce the resolution necessary to perceive a

The Event Horizon Telescope should, this year, come out with their first image of what this central black hole ’s event horizon looks like. A view of the different telescopes contributing to the Event Horizon Telescope ’s imaging capabilities from one of Earth’s hemispheres.

Event Horizon Telescope saw a black hole. It could change everything© CNET blackhole

Black holes are some of the most intriguing and mysterious objects in the universe, inspiring entire libraries of both scientific research and science fiction, from Einstein to the movie Interstellar. Yet despite the hold that their inconceivable gravity has on our imaginations, as well as our understanding of physics, humans have never actually seen a black hole.

That appears set to change Wednesday with the impending release of the first image taken of Sagittarius A, the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It's a landmark moment for both science and technology made possible by the Event Horizon Telescope, which is actually an array telescopes spread out across the Earth.

Astronomers set to make 'groundbreaking' black hole announcement

Astronomers set to make 'groundbreaking' black hole announcement We may be about to see the first ever photo of a black hole.

The Event Horizon Telescope is an international collaboration aiming to capture the first image of a black hole by creating a virtual The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global effort ScienceAlert: Our Galaxy's Supermassive Black Hole Could Be Pointing a Relativistic Jet Right at Us.

You can change this preference below. We have never been able to photograph a black hole to this day. But the Event Horizon Telescope is hoping to change that. It will be using an array of radio telescopes to try and picture a black hole .

Yes, I know what you're thinking: "I've seen plenty of pictures of black holes."

Perhaps you're thinking of something like this:

All these images we've seen from NASA and other scientific organizations are just illustrations created with the help of artists, although many of them are actually based on data from real telescopes. The above one comes largely from data gathered by NASA's Chandra X-Ray telescope, which is able to detect the super-heated matter being pulled toward the event horizon, or perimeter of a black hole.

So that beautiful illustration is kind of like drawing a hurricane based on wind speed data from the outer edges of the storm. To actually see a satellite image of a brooding and sprawling tropical cyclone is another thing altogether.

Scientists expected to release landmark image of black hole

Scientists expected to release landmark image of black hole Scientists expected to release landmark image of black hole

Astronomers hope the Event Horizon Telescope , a synchronized network of radio antennas as large as the Earth, will take the first ever picture of a But it emits no visible or infrared light. If this is not a black hole , neither Einstein nor anyone else knows what it could be. “That is the strongest evidence

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a project to create a large telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes and combining data from several very-long-baseline interferometry

But to really capture a direct image of a black hole, or at least the shadow of one outlined by the bright material being pulled toward it, requires some serious collaborative engineering.

Here a telescope, there a telescope

The EHT is actually an array of radio telescopes on different sides of the globe that are linked to create what's called a Very Long Baseline Interferometer (VLBI) the size of the Earth itself. The basic idea here is that radio telescopes in different locations are combining their signals to boost their power.

Event Horizon Telescope saw a black hole. It could change everything© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. black-holes-infographic-v2

If you've seen pictures of the Very Large Array in New Mexico (featured prominently in the 1997 movie Contact) with its multiple telescopic dishes all working together, then you can visualize the concept: Just imagine Jodie Foster tapping into an array of dishes that are separated not by meters but by thousands of miles instead.

Stephen Hawking's daughter says her father would have been 'blown away' by the first ever image of a black hole

Stephen Hawking's daughter says her father would have been 'blown away' by the first ever image of a black hole "It would have been incredible for Dad to see an image of the mysterious and fascinating object of a black hole," Lucy Hawking told Business Insider.

The Event Horizon Telescope should, this year, come out with their first image of what this central black hole 's event horizon looks like. A view of the different telescopes contributing to the Event Horizon Telescope 's imaging capabilities from one of Earth's hemispheres.

You can change this preference below. BLACK HOLES - Mysteries Of The Universe - HD Documentary - The point of no return Space & Time - Duration: 45:55. Event Horizons Telescope to Photograph a Real Black Hole by 2017 - Duration: 6:44.

This planet-sized observatory is necessary because, as the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory explains in the below animation, while Sagittarius A is 4 million times as massive as our sun, it's still really far away -- a distance of about 26,000 light years.

This is, of course, good news for all people interested in not getting sucked into a black hole, but it makes the thing very hard to photograph; it would be comparable to trying to see the dimples on a golf ball in Los Angeles... from New York. Better get out your super zoom lens, which is also kind of what the Event Horizon Telescope is.

The EHT's array of observatories includes telescopes in Chile, Hawaii, Arizona, Mexico, Spain and the South Pole, all precisely synchronized to collect several petabytes of data, all of it combined with the help of a supercomputer to create the first image of Sagittarius A.

The image we expect to see Wednesday comes from data that was actually collected back in 2017. Part of the reason for the delay is that while we've become much better at processing huge amounts of data in recent years, the internet still isn't quite quick enough to zap petabytes' worth of information around the world on demand. Each EHT location stored its observation data on a physical hard disk that had to be transported to a data-processing center and combined with data from the other observatories.

Black hole named 'Powehi' by Hawaii university professor

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But how can you see a black hole if even light can 't escape its gravitational grasp? While matter crossing the event horizon is lost to this The Event Horizon Telescope that Charles Gammie described in his talk at our department of physics is designed to see the "shadow" a black hole 's

At the event horizon , everything enters the black hole . Could some essence of you ever emerge from a black hole ? First posited by a group of theorists including Donald Marolf The Event Horizon Telescope , the one Sheperd Doeleman and his colleagues used to try to photograph Sagittarius A

So now we have a phalanx of scientists excited about looking at a black hole on the other side of the galaxy -- it's no exaggeration to say that the entire universe is at stake here... or at least our fundamental understanding of the universe.

Proving Einstein right

That's because the shape of the black hole's event horizon in the EHT image could prove Albert Einstein's theory of how gravity works, or cast new doubt upon it.

In a nutshell (although one of seemingly immense density), Einstein said that gravity can actually warp the fabric of space-time, which is most easily thought of as the background that the Earth, the sun and everything else is moving through. So when a large star collapses on itself and turns into a very dense object with intense gravitational pull it has some serious warping power.

This crazy-dense super sucker is called the "singularity" at the center of the black hole. The singularity is so powerful that it warps space-time and bends light near the event horizon. So the singularity causing all this chaos is actually hiding somewhere behind the shadow of the black hole created by its own, spacetime-warping, light-consuming massiveness.

Furor over 'black hole' photo forces China's largest image provider to shut

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But that could be about to change , when a new telescope network switches on in April this year. The Event Horizon Telescope works using a technique known as very-long-baseline interferometry So what can we expect to see if the project is successful? The researchers predict the black hole will

Obtaining sharp images of the black hole event horizon is very challenging and the EHT will do its best to produce the sharpest images ever obtained. The quality of the images depends on the arrangement of the telescope array, weather conditions at the telescope sites, as well as blurring of

It all sounds a little insane, but there's lots of reason to believe Einstein has it right: most recently, the first observations of gravitational waves predicted by his theories helped to bolster those theories. But Einstein's theory of gravity, which seems to hold up when we look at big objects like stars and galaxies, is not compatible with quantum mechanics, the study of the bizarre, infinitesimal particles that make up atoms at the heart of everything.

According to Einstein's math, a singularity also has to be a really bizarre place. Being able to study images of the black hole it creates could lead to a better understanding of what's going on there, and maybe even new theories that bridge the gap between Einstein and the quantum world.

As astrophysicist Karan Jani put it in a wonderful tweet-lecture:

"The singularity of a black hole is a point of infinite density. All the laws of physics as we know break down here. But can such singularity exist in the real Universe? Or is it simply that our knowledge has not advanced enough to understand it?"

There are also other weird things going on at black holes, like the counterintuitive and powerful jets of near-light-speed particles that seem to be blasting across the universe. And what's on the other side of a black hole, anyway? Is it a white hole? A wormhole? A portal to another universe? These ideas might sound ludicrous, but at the moment they're all technically on the table, at least until we get a much better idea of what's going on beyond the event horizon.

And starting Wednesday, we just might enter that new era of understanding.

Chris Cornell Fans Sign Petition to Name Black Hole After Him.
Just two days after astronomers released the first-ever photograph of a black hole, Chris Cornell fans have banded together to get the space phenomena named after the singer. One fan, Giuliana Jarrin, launched a Change.org petition to use the black hole to honor Cornell and his famous song, "Black Hole Sun." “Black Hole Sun, written by Chris Cornell is without a doubt Soundgarden’s most recognisable and most popular song, and one of the biggest anthems of the ’90s," she wrote in the description.

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