Science

1st-ever photo of a black hole to be revealed

1st-ever photo of a black hole to be revealed”

The US National Science Foundation has scheduled a news conference in Washington to announce a "groundbreaking result from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project", an worldwide partnership formed in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole.

Scientists will be "staring down the pipes of eternity" if, as expected, the first image of a black hole is released this week.

. One of the objects sits at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, buried in the depths of interstellar dust and gas, and equivalent in mass to 4.1 million suns that otherwise have disappeared from the visible universe.

Black holes, coming in a variety of sizes, are extraordinarily dense entities formed when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.

Up until now, every image we have seen of a black hole has been an illustration, but that is about to change.

.

During a press conference at last month's South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, Sheperd Doeleman, who is the director of the Event Horizon Telescope, shared a quirky anecdote so people could relate to the kind of challenges involved in this project.

Countless theories, calculations, and estimations have been made about black holes, leading science to suspect a jet black "pit" of sorts with gravitational pull so intense that nothing can escape it.

One, known as Sagittarius A*, is 26,000 light years away from Earth at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy.

The telescope uses radio dishes around the world to create an Earth-sized interferometer, which is basically an instrument in which the interference of two beams of light is employed to make precise measurements.

Much of the speculation says Wednesday's news will be about Sagittarius A*.

The Event Horizon Telescope network. The scientists will be looking for a ring of light - radiation and matter circling at tremendous speed at the edge of the event horizon - around a region of darkness representing the actual black hole.

The team is hoping to produce a groundbreaking image and determine whether Einstein was right when he predicted the exact size and shape of the black hole's shadow back in the early 20th century. If there's anything different from what general relativity predicts, theoretical physics could be up for quite the show.

The images are captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an worldwide cooperation program jointly established by more than 200 researchers around the world.

Exciting news, definitely, but now we can't get the Muse song out of our heads.

The announcement is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, April 10th.

The U.S. National Science Foundation, which will host the event in Washington D.C., said the announcement was a "groundbreaking result".



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