Feb 20, 2017 09:23 PM EST
The Event Horizon Telescope Will Start Capturing The First Photo Of The Black Hole On April
The Event Horizon Telescope is specially designed to capture the first photograph of the mysterious black hole. It is a project participated by all observatories around the world to learn more about the phenomenon that has been theorized but never proven. The telescope is now ready and will start operating in April with its first subject, the Sagittarius A*, the black hole that is 26,000 light-years away from Earth.
The Event Horizon Telescope aptly named from the ring of light that surrounds a dark blob has been an ongoing project for two years. It was only last year that scientists disclosed the creation of a powerful virtual telescope that can take photos of black holes. The technology works via a network of radio receivers located in various countries across the globe and participated by all leading observatories. This includes the Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array located in Chile.
The Event Horizon Telescope employs a technique known as the Very-Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) where every radio telescope erected will fetch radio signals from a precise point in space, Futurism has learned. All the radio receivers that make up the humongous virtual telescope will start operating from April 5 to 14. However, a photograph of the black hole may only be available by late this year or early 2018.
There will be huge amounts of data to gather that require many hours of processing time. For the Event Horizon Telescope data, scientists have prepared atomic clocks for accurate time stamps as well as several hard drive modules equivalent to store data from 10,000 laptops, Engadget reported. All these hard drives will be transported from the MIT Haystack Observatory to provide imaging algorithms to organize data after the observation period has been completed.
Scientists have long theorized the existence of black holes, which could number in thousands in the universe. By capturing the very first image, the Event Horizon Telescope will further the understanding of how black hole forms and looks like. Though not proven, there is a huge amount of valuable data that proves their existence. To illustrate, the stars around Sagittarius A* are affected by a strange phenomenon that influences their orbit and this could only be a black hole unless Einstein was wrong and scientists need to reassess their understanding of gravity.