Scientists capture image of black hole in galaxy called M87

Scientists capture image of black hole in galaxy called M87

April 11, 2019
NEW DELHI: The scientists have captured an image that shows the supermassive black hole at the centre of M87 in the galaxy. The dark central shadow is corroborates Albert Einstein's 100-year old theory of relativity.

The black hole is like a cosmic trapdoor from which neither light nor matter can escape. It is unseeable.

The breakthrough image was captured by the Event Horizon telescope (EHT), a network of eight radio telescopes spanning locations from Antarctica to Spain and Chile, in an effort involving more than 200 scientists.

The young female scientist behind the first-ever image of a black hole is being hailed as an American hero. Dr Kate Bouman Bouman (29) said after the image released, "This is just the beginning of having another window into what black holes can tell us about our laws and physics." Bouman created the algorithm that allowed the picture showing a fiery ring surrounding a black centre to be assembled.

"At the heart of the Milky Way, there's a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close - even light. We can't see it, but its event horizon casts a shadow, and an image of that shadow could help answer some important questions about the universe. Scientists used to think that making such an image would require a telescope the size of Earth - until Katie Bouman and a team of astronomers came up with a clever alternative. Bouman explains how we can take a picture of the ultimate dark using the Event Horizon Telescope.

A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. They are actually not empty but consist of a huge amounts of compressed matter and so has huge gravitational pull. Beyond the black hole is the event horizon, the "point of no return."

The black hole found was in a galaxy called M87. It is larger than the size of our entire solar system. "It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe," BBC quoted a scientist.

There is a "ring of fire" around the dark hole. The halo is caused by superheated gas falling into the hole. "The light is brighter than all the billions of other stars in the galaxy combined - which is why it can be seen at such distance from Earth," he said.

Astronomers always thought the M87 galaxy has a supermassive black hole because of images emitted.

Black holes raise fundamental issues of time, space and life.

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