Many people were excited about the very first image of a black hole, as well as about the young woman who was instrumental to capturing it. And black holes may seem invisible, but the way they interact with the material around them is the giveaway, the researchers said.
Using the EHT and Chandra simultaneously was important to better understand the astronomic context of the black hole and its surrounding galaxy, says Dr. Joey Neilsen of Villanova University.
Now, the Event Horizon Telescope ( EHT ) has succeeded in resolving the event horizon around the supermassive black hole in M87, a relatively nearby galaxy from which light takes 55 million light years to reach us, due to its distance. This historic development even got Google to make a doodle for it. The new image, published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters and announced around the world, adds light to that sound. The imaging project started in 2017 and cost about $50 million.
In 2006, an global consortium of astronomers formed a group called the Event Horizon Telescope. This technique enabled the EHT to achieve a sensitivity and spatial resolution (20 microarcseconds) never previously achieved: it would enable someone in Paris to read a newspaper located in NY! Black holes are, well, black.
Despite the increased sample, our Milky Way and M87 still have the largest event horizons as seen from Earth, which is why the worldwide team pursued these two targets.
Deane's group will now focus on expanding their simulations to model a case in which light from the black hole may have preferred orientation, performing detailed simulations on new prospective sites, and exploring a range of probabilistic modelling techniques to extract the properties of the black hole shadow. It also shows the event horizon, which is the boundary between light and dark around a black hole. They captured an image of the supermassive black hole and its shadow at the center of a galaxy known as M87. However, by tying together a worldwide network of radio receivers, astronomers can effectively make a telescope the size of the Earth - essentially a radio telescope about 8,000 miles wide.
Those images were so good that scientists at first anxious that it was just too good to be true, Boston University's Marscher said. While that wasn't an impossibility - and indeed NASA is working on a number of super-powerful telescope projects - it left capturing an image of a black hole a distant possibility.
"Are glaciers going to melt in the dead of night?" one social media user tweeted. For most scientists, the detection of gravity waves cinched it: black holes were out there, churning up space-time, even if we never saw them. Although, Katie Bouman didn't do it alone, she contribited really much to achieve the goal - to get the photo of black hole.
Twenty-nine-year-old Katie Bouman's efforts were crucial to this incredible stride in space research. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduate and computer scientist has been acknowledged for developing an algorithm that ended up creating an image of the black hole.
The first video that came up after a search of Katie Bouman on YouTube was titled, "Woman does 6% of the Work but Gets 100% of the Credit: Black Hole Photo", NBC News reported.
They established a network of eight telescopes across the world, which then scanned the black hole over a period of 10 days.
At the same scale of compression, Earth's mass would fit inside a thimble, while the Sun's would be a mere six kilometres from edge to edge. To overcome this obstacle, EHT coordinated with telescopes at various locations to create a large enough field of vision.