The first-ever photo of a black hole is expected very soon


"My guess is EHT will produce an image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy and also an image of one at the center of the nearby galaxy M87", said Lai, who is not involved in the EHT project, in a press release.

"What the black hole image could do for us, if we can get it, would be to take something that is the most extreme, the strangest prediction of general relativity, one of the great accomplishments of the human mind, [and] combine it with the most advanced electronics with a planetary scale collaboration with the most advanced statistics [and] new imaging techniques", says Peter Galison, a physics professor at Harvard University.

Most black holes are the condensed remnants of a massive star, the collapsed core that remains following an explosive supernova.

The brightness around the object was an accumulation of gas and plasma swirling around a black hole that is absolutely black and measures 22 million kilometers in diameter (by comparison, our sun is a measly 700,000km in diameter).

He and his colleagues are acting as if they have something to celebrate. The Event Horizon researchers are going all-out with the announcement, which is scheduled for this Wednesday, and they'll be holding press conferences in multiple languages simultaneously all around the globe. The team and their friends have booked the National Air and Space Museum for a party that evening. Eight radio telescopes around the world have been pointed at two of the cosmic behemoths.

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An artist's illustration shows Sagittarius A*, the black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Black holes are extremely dense pockets of matter with incredible mass and minuscule volume.

The project was established in 2012 by dozens of institutions around the world, with the goal of developing a way of capturing an elusive black hole.

The second - called M87 - resides at the center of the neighboring Virgo A galaxy, boasting a mass 3.5 billion times that of the sun and located 54 million light-years away from Earth.

Doeleman said the project's researchers obtained the first data in April 2017 from a global network of telescopes.

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Star debris spinning around the edge of a black hole typically disappears into the darkened centre in a brilliant final flash.

The scientists also will be trying to detect for the first time the dynamics near the black hole as matter orbits at near light speeds before being swallowed into oblivion.

Dr. Urry pointed out that evidence for the existence of black holes has mounted steadily since the 1960s, including the Nobel Prize-winning detection, in 2015, of vibrations in spacetime from two colliding black holes by the LIGO experiment.

"The shape of the shadow will be nearly a flawless circle in Einstein's theory", Psaltis stated, adding, "If we find it to be different than what the theory predicts, then we go back to square one and we say, 'Clearly, something is not exactly right", cited Reuters.

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