First Ever Image of an Actual Black Hole Captured By Event Horizon Telescope
For the first time ever astronomers capture an image of an actual black hole, not an artist interpretation or CGI.
The particular black hole is supermassive measuring a staggering 40 billion km across and is located at the center of the distant Messier 87 galaxy which lies approximately 55 million light years away.
The ‘ring of fire’ surrounding the black hole is caused by dust and gas falling in to its center.
The object is so bright that it puts out more light than all the stars in its host galaxy combined.
The image itself was captured using the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) – a network of eight radio telescopes situated around the world.
“Black holes are the most mysterious objects in the universe,” said EHT director Sheperd Doeleman. “We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have taken a picture of a black hole.”
The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world. Details have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Prof Heino Falcke, of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who proposed the experiment, told BBC News that the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87.
“What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System,” he said. “It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe.” ” -bbc news
The groundbreaking image will help to revolutionize our understanding of these enigmatic objects.
An exciting time for astrophysicists and anyone curious about space and all the mysteries it holds.
What is a black hole?
- A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape its gravity
- Despite the name, they are not empty but instead consist of a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area
- There is a region of space beyond the black hole called the event horizon. This is a “point of no return”, beyond which it is impossible to escape the gravitational effects of the black hole
excerpts from Unexplain-Mysteries and BBC news