For the first time ever, scientists managed to capture a photo of a massive black hole with the help of Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).
The EHT is an international project comprising of dozens of observatories that were used to create a “virtual Earth-sized telescope” and capture a black hole on camera.
Following the capturing of the breathtaking photo, scientists from all over the world held conferences in Washington, Tokyo, Shanghai, Taipei, Brussels, Santiago, and Lyngby simultaneously.
“Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun,” the Event Horizon ‘Scope shared on Twitter.
“We have seen what we thought was unseeable,” Dr. Sheperd Doeleman expressed during a Washington DC conference. “We have seen and taken a picture of… a black hole.”
Speaking of the black hole, seen on the photo as the black circle surrounded by a golden ring of light that is being pulled in by the black hole, the scientists revealed that the phenomena is located 55 million light-years away from Earth and is large enough to destroy the biggest of stars and planets.
According to the reports, the black hole is 6.5 billion times denser than the Sun and three million times wider than our planet.
“If there’s a big moment for all of us, it is today,” European Commissioner of Research, Science, and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, said at the Brussels conference.
“We have accomplished something many thought impossible by imaging the shadow of a black hole and it provides the strongest evidence to date that such evasive and enigmatic entities do indeed exist,” Dr. Ziri Younsi of UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory added.
“You could never actually see a black hole but because it is so powerful you can see when matter starts to fall into it, getting closer and closer.
“I was amazed to see the image. I got a sense of tremendous excitement. It’s something we have been working on for 10 years and actually, the image was surprisingly unsurprising. Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicted an image like this.
“Black holes are such mysterious objects. They represent a point of the universe which is really also the edge of time. If you dropped a torch into one you would see the light extend forever getting dimmer and dimmer but taking an infinite time to reach the event horizon.”
Speaking to the AFP about the black hole’s event horizon, also known as the point of no return and the point beyond which everything gets swallow, Dr. Paul McNamara of the European Space Agency said:
“The event horizon is not a physical barrier, you couldn’t stand on it. If you’re on the inside of it, you can’t escape because you would need infinite energy. And if you are on the other side, you can – in principle.”
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