Scientists piece together first-ever image of black hole
Using an Earth-sized telescope, an international team of scientists may have snapped the first-ever image of a black hole.
Project manager Michael Bremer, an astronomer with the International Research Institute for Radio Astronomy (IRAM), explained that they created a network of telescopes spanning from Hawaii to Spain to Antarctica by combining eight observatories like the pieces of a massive mirror.
The earth-sized virtual telescope, dubbed the Event Horizon Telescope, was used to capture an image of Sagittarius A*, a massive black hole at the center of our galaxy – the Milky Way.
Bremer said in a statement, “Instead of building a telescope so big that it would probably collapse under its own weight, we combined eight observatories like the pieces of a giant mirror. This gave us a virtual telescope as big as Earth — about 10,000 kilometers (6,200 miles) is diameter.”
Scientists know for a long time that a black hole exists at the center of the Milky Way. But, they could never capture a precise image of the black hole. However, the EHT project is expected to provide a clear image showing the black hole’s surrounding ring and its shadow.
Theoretical astronomy suggests that a black hole absorbs anything that comes too close to it, including planets, debris and even light. Gravity & light-sucking monster Sagittarius A* weighs as much as four million suns.