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Making It Real — First-Ever Picture Of A Black Hole!

10 Apr 2019, 16:14 UTC
Making It Real — First-Ever Picture Of A Black Hole!
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The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes — captured this image of the supermassive black hole in the galaxy M87 in Virgo, the first-ever of a black hole. We see the shadow of the black hole framed by bright gases that are spinning around it. The black hole’s boundary, called the event horizon, is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 25 billion miles (40 billion km) across. While this may sound huge, it’s equivalent to measuring the length of a credit card on the surface of the moon. ESO Collaboration

After Einstein predicted black holes more than a century ago, we finally got a look at one today. When the first photo was revealed at today’s press conference in Brussels, I was surprised at how familiar it looked. Exactly as the models had predicted, here was a dark nothing surrounded by a thick disk of hot, glowing gases whirling around the hole’s event horizon. Is science wonderful or what? Einstein predicted, astronomers painstakingly gathered evidence, and in the end, astronomers got it right. Simply amazing.
The black hole, informally called M87* (M87 star), hides ...

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