The photo of the black hole is the most important photo in the history of astrophysics


The gravitational field of a black hole pulls anything that ventures too close, including stars, planets, and asteroids.


The gravitational field of a black hole pulls anything that ventures too close, including stars, planets, and asteroids.

In 1781 the French astronomer Charles Messier published a catalog of 103 very nebulous objects which he thought were nebulous; the 87th object is M87.

Today we know that this is one of the most massive galaxies in our part of the Universe, located at a distance of 54 million light years from Earth.

M87 has just become one of the most important objects in astronomical history. The engine room at the center of this galaxy is a supermassive black hole, 6.5 billion times more massive than our Sun and more than 1,600 times more massive than the black hole in the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Scientist Roger Hanson says black holes remain mysterious.


Scientist Roger Hanson says black holes remain mysterious.

In physics, mass refers to the number of particles not to dimensions; a small but very dense object can be described as massive.

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A black hole is an object with an escape velocity greater than the speed of light – the escape velocity is the velocity necessary to escape its gravitational grip.

The more mass accumulated in a given volume, the greater the escape velocity. The escape velocity of the Earth is 11.2kms / s, while that of a black hole is over 300,000kms / s, the speed of light, a powerful gravitational force, requires a huge amount of mass.

The black hole in the center of the Milky Way is about the size of the orbit of the planet closest to our Sun, Mercury, "small" by astronomical patterns.

Black holes are extremely difficult to photograph because galaxies containing supermassive black holes are located at great distances from Earth.

The gravitational field of a black hole pulls anything that ventures too close, including stars, planets, and asteroids.

The material near the black hole is moving tens of thousands of miles per second while spiraling into the black hole.

The friction generated in this region around a black hole, called an accretion disk, generates temperatures of tens of millions of degrees and emits electromagnetic radiation.

Until April 10, 2019, black holes were theoretical objects; however, there was strong evidence of its existence.

The Southern European Observatory's telescope tracked stars and gas orbiting very fast around what was supposed to be the black hole in the center of our galaxy.

But to see is to believe and until a good image of a dark circle in the center of a galaxy has actually been obtained, there would always be an uncomfortable question about the existence of black holes.

On April 10, the first image of a black hole, which at the center of the M87 galaxy was obtained, is the most important photograph in the history of astrophysics.

The image was obtained by combining data from eight telescopes located on four continents.

Using a technique called Large Matrix Baseline Interferometry, it is possible to construct a telescope that is, for all intents and purposes, the size of the Earth.

To do this, on April 4, 2017, each of the telescopes was pointed at M87 and began receiving the radio signals precisely at the same time.

This lasted a week, after which large amounts of data from each telescope were taken to two processing centers for analysis.

Each of the telescopes alone could not produce a distinct image, but by carefully combining the data of each, an image could be mounted.

The Vox Observatory TV video reported that four teams independently analyzed the data to produce the photograph and that each of them obtained the same result, proving that the analysis was correct.

Vox also noticed why the M87 was chosen; is visible to all eight telescopes simultaneously once a year and emits radio waves that can be received by telescopes connected to Earth.

Luck was necessary for the experiment to be successful, the light of the M87 had to go unobstructed by dust, gas or large objects in its 54-million-year journey.

One of the telescopes was in Antarctica; and the team had to wait six months for the large number of hard disks to be sent, since there are no winter flights from the mainland.

The black holes remain mysterious; what is happening inside them, is there an infinite point of density (the singularity), are they portals to new universes?

These are questions for future scientists to answer.


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