Scientists reveal first image ever made of a black hole

The first image of a black hole

Taiwan made a significant contribution to an global astronomical project to capture the world's first image of a black hole, as it not only supported operation of radio telescopes synchronized to capture the image but also helped analyze relevant information obtained, Academia Sinica has said.

"We have achieved something presumed to be impossible just a generation ago", said EHT project director Sheperd S. Doeleman.

Two years ago, an worldwide collective of scientists joined forces to take pictures of two black holes located at the centers of galaxies. But what everyone wants to know the most is what exactly we'll be able to find inside the black hole - the observations the Event Horizon gathered have not revealed anything about that for the time being.

It was a momentous occasion for all of astronomy when scientists unleashed the news that they have captured the first ever image of a black hole.

TV presenter and particle physicist Brian Cox said: "Here is the image of the black hole in M87, and at the press conference the Event Horizon team just said it is precisely as predicted by General Relativity".

While black holes are invisible by nature, the ultra-hot material swirling in their midst forms a ring of light around the perimeter that reveals the mouth of the object itself based on its silhouette. "We are looking at the shadow of the black hole".

The stuff of astrophysics dreams could come true on Wednesday. The black hole in question is located in the middle of the Messier 87 galaxy, which rests some 55 million light years away from Earth.

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The project cost $50 million (NZ$73.8 million) to $60 million (NZ$88.6 million), with $28 million (NZ$41.3 million) of that coming from the National Science Foundation.

In addition to providing confirmation that black holes exist, the images serve to confirm Einstein's theory of relativity.

"M87's huge black hole mass makes it really a monster even by supermassive black hole standards", said Sera Markoff, a discovery team member at the University of Amsterdam.

Through the span of seven days in April 2017, EHT space experts on four landmasses facilitated their endeavors to mention objective facts of the supermassive black hole. It is one more instance of the importance of collaboration in the advancement of science. And that means it converts nearby gas and matter into energy with 100 times more efficiency than the nuclear fusion that powers the stars. Researchers needed one the size of our planet. "Once you cross it, you will never be able to get out and you will never be able to communicate", Loeb said. "They have exotic properties and are mysterious to us".

He said: "The history of man and of science will be divided into the time before the image and the time after the image".

Now the project is working past the first view of a black hole to tie in more telescopes and create a sharper view. We will, however, mention that any doubts about the presence of black holes were effectively removed when LIGO, Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, picked up a collision of two distant black holes, sending a shiver through the space-time fabric.

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