Astronomers Prepare to Make Black Hole Announcement Innovative & # 39;



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Hotaka Shiokawa

Astronomers working on a worldwide network of cosmic observatories are poised to make an "innovative" announcement on April 10, according to the European Southern Observatory.

Considering that the Event Horizon Telescope is on a mission to capture the first image of a black hole, this could be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the year – humans, for the first time, may be able to "see" a black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy or that of our nearby cosmic neighbor, Messier 87.

Of course, black holes are invisible space vampires. Its immense gravity absorbs any surrounding matter – including light – that is within reach. And once something falls, it can never escape. This makes it totally impossible to really Watch a black hole now.

However, at the extreme of the powerful gravity of a black hole is the "event horizon." The material accumulates in this region and revolves around the black hole at such a rate that it emits high energy radiation – the material we can see. For the last 13 years, the Event Horizon Telescope (which is actually a network of radio observatories around the globe) has tried to imagine two black holes: Sagittarius A * in the center of the Milky Way, and the black hole in the center of Messier 87, a nearby elliptical galaxy.

Observatories around the world focus on the locations of the black hole and individually capture the radio signals emitted by the event horizon. The captured data is digitized and stored on hard disks, which are physically sent to participating institutions for analysis. As each telescope around the world is all synchronized with an incredibly accurate clock, the data can be correlated, stitched together and eventually – and this is the holy grail – produce an image of the black hole's event horizon.

The last data collection took place two years ago in April 2017. At that time, astronomers were mounting the results of the race – and now many suspect that the announcement on April 10 will give us the first real glimpse of a black man. hole.

This is not a certainty but, considering media advisory, suggests an "innovative outcome" that will be broadcast simultaneously in six different locations and four different languages ‚Äč‚Äčaround the world, and there is reason to be excited.

The official announcement will begin at 6 am on 10 April. Whatever the outcome, CNET will cover it.

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