The first ever image of a black hole was presented
A team of scientists around the Event Horizon Telescope project has presented the first-ever image of a black hole. The image shows a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87. This is the first direct visual evidence of the existence of these objects.
As we know, black holes do not emit or reflect light. These objects are so massive that once they reach a certain point (the event horizon), the escape velocity – the speed needed to leave the object’s gravitational field – exceeds the speed of light in proThe luminosity and even light is unable to leave the area. Still, scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope project have been able to give us an idea of what a black hole, or rather its shadow, really looks like.
All thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). This is the radio telescope networkoin scattered around the world, whichore working on millimeter and submillimeter waves of the. Together they form a telescope the size of the Earth. By using a technique called large-baseline interferometry, data received by independent radio telescopes are recorded together, making it easier to poA more recent analysis.
The Event Horizon Telescope is an extremely sensitive instrument. The apparent size of a black hole in the sky is less than 100 millionths of a degree, equivalent to the size of a tennis ball on the Moon as seen from Earth. But the EHT has dealt with it, and thanks to it and the scientists involved in the project, we can see the black hole for the first time. More than 200 scientists are participating in the projectow from all over the world, including Poland.
The M87 galaxy, or Virgo A galaxy, is located about 53 million light years from us. It is the largest and brightest object in the constellation of Virgo.
But what does the image actually represent? WokoThe black hole is orbiting at gigantic speeds, ignited to enormous temperatures matter. This accretion disk of dust and gas orbits unusually close to the event horizon – zone surrounding the black hole that separates the observer from events, about whichorych will never have any information. This is the limit after whichocruise past there is no return.
Anything that gets too close to the black hole is pulled beyond the event horizon, but some of the dustow and gasoin an accretion disk orbiting at relativistic velocities, it could orbit fairly safely around theoł black hole. This point, where matter can orbit without being pulled behind the event horizon, is known as the innermost stable orbit.
What we see in the image is nothing more than the spherical shape of the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed by the wok acting on light in intense gravityoł black hole, whichora is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun.
– We have taken the first image of a black hole,” said EHT project director Sheperd S. Doeleman of the Center for Astrophysics Harvard and Smithsonian. – This is a remarkable scientific feat accomplished by a team ofoł more than 200 scientistsow – added.
– We expected the black hole to create a dark shadow-like region in the disk of luminous gas, something the ogre predictsoAlbert Einstein’s lna theory of relativity. We’ve never seen it before,” explained Heino Falcke of Radboud University in the Netherlands. – This shadow caused by gravitational bending and the capture of light by the event horizon reveals much about the nature of these fascinating objectsoin and allowed us to measure the enormous mass of the M87 black hole – added.
Observation campaign, thanks to whichorej obtained the first image of the black hole was conducted at a wavelength of 1.3 mm. The aforementioned precise determination of the mass of the object in the M87 galaxy is 6.5 billion solar masses. The shadow of the black hole itself has more than 40 billionoin kilometerow. The event horizon is 2.5 times smaller.
– Once we were sure that we had imaged the shadow of the black hole, we could cfow to incorporate our observations into extensive computer models of the. Many features of the observed image fit our theoretical understanding surprisingly well, noted Paul TP Ho. – This makes us confident in interpreting our observations, including our estimate of the black hole’s mass – added.
Poles are also actively involved in the EHT project. Prof. Monika Mościbrodzka of Radboud University in the Netherlands heads the research group and was among theod a group of researchers reporting the discovery at a press conference in Brussels. In turn, Dr. Maciek Wielgus of the Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University in the US is verifying the data and studying the temporal variability of the observed sources ofodeł.
– The observation technique, whichor, which we used, relies on all of these telescopes pointing toward a specific object at the same time and collecting information. With this, we can achieve unprecedented resolution. Event Horizon Telescope has observational power, whichoa person standing in Paris could use to read the text of a newspaper located in New York,” said Ms. Mościbrodzka in an interview with PAP.
Press conferences on this momentous event were held simultaneously in six locations around the world: Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Tokyo, Taipei and Washington, DC.