Countdown to the first “photograph” of a black hole


For the first time next spring a network of nine terrestrial radioileskopion will attempt to capture the “profile” of a black hole. The aim of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), as the project is called, is to “photograph” Sagittarius A *, the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Already completed a sizable part of the technical preparation. Thus, scientists estimate that the April 2017 will be able to photograph for the first time a black hole.

Black holes are the “remains” very massive stars, which are so densely that “swallow” any photon or body is in range of the powerful gravitational field, or else the event horizon, as it is called.

Therefore, scientists will not immortalize the same black hole but the “profile” of the event horizon, by the amount of hot gas that swirled in his region before disappeared forever inside of Sagittarius A *.

“There are several obstacles that must be overcome to the imprinted Taxotis A * – which is essentially a very small footprint in the sky,” says the website Futurism the Ferial Ozel, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Arizona and a member of the project.

The reason is that the black hole is located 25,000 light years from Earth. According to Ozel, it is like to want to distinguish a CD that is located on the Moon’s surface.

That is why scientists will combine nine radio telescopes from the four corners of the globe, such as the US, Spain and France, creating a “virtual” telescope with unprecedented clarity. They will also utilize an electromagnetic radiation wavelength that penetrates not only the clouds around the black hole, and the earth’s atmosphere.

Apart from that it will be a breakthrough in terms of observational physics, “photographing” of Sagittarius A * would make it possible to check once again the General Theory of Relativity. According to Einstein’s theory, black holes distort local space-time, and may even calculate the deformation.

Thus, images of Sagittarius A * is expected to show the shape of a crescent, the dimensions of which should be consistent with the predictions of general relativity. Otherwise, it will mean that the theory needs improvement.

Before, however, “photographed” Sagittarius A *, scientists have already decided that the next step would be to capture the black hole in the galaxy Messier 87. This black hole is much larger than the Sagittarius A *, while it ejected huge plasma jets in space.

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