Published: Thu, April 11, 2019
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

Ontario scientist among global team unveiling first image of a black hole

Ontario scientist among global team unveiling first image of a black hole

On Wednesday, April 10, at 9 a.m. EDT, scientists working with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will hold a press conference to unveil the first-ever image of a black hole.

But when Broderick first saw the image he and other researchers affiliated with the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration had compiled based on data from eight telescopes, he was awestruck.

The black hole is in another galaxy some 55 million light years away from Earth.

The reveal of the image is a huge milestone for the study of black holes.

The data used to create the image could help scientists better understand gravity and other phenomena, said Charles Gammie, an astronomy and physics professor at the University of IL.

"Obtaining an image of a black hole is not as easy as snapping a photo with an ordinary camera", the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a US research center, wrote on its website.

Black holes have been impossible to take pictures of because they have an extremely dense gravitational field.

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Researchers say their findings help offer further support of Einstein's Theory of Relativity, first announced in 1915.

Black hole has always been a subject of human curiosity.

Doeleman said the image could have been just a blob, but they were thrilled to have captured the donut-like appearance of the accretion disk surrounding the black hole's shadow. The image showing the radio signature of M87's black hole, 6.5 billion times more massive than our sun, was released at today's briefings.

"It's a dream come true, on many levels", Ozel said. This black hole is actually a supermassive black hole. Fortunately, our galaxy's supermassive black hole is on the quiet side. The image is very similar to numerous artists' drawings through the years of what scientists believed a black hole looked like.

The scientists said they focused their efforts on M87 first since the black hole moves a thousand times slower than the Sagittarius A, making it easier to capture. Nearly every galaxy in the universe has a black hole at its center, including our Milky Way, he said.

The telescope array also reportedly monitored a dim source of radio noise called Sagittarius A* at the heart of the Milky Way galaxy.

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