First Black Hole Image Captured; Say Hello to Sagittarius A* [VIDEO]By Ava Jones, UniversityHerald Reporter
Scientists may have captured the first image of a black hole. The image is taken by telescopes around the world that are linked into one ambitious project to create an Earth-sized telescope. If these scientists successfully put together all the images, it would shed a light on how the universe came into being.
The scientists attempted to take an image of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of the Milky Way called the Sagittarius A*, IFL Science reported. The daring, large scale project is called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Linking all those telescopes is a strong statement on how international collaboration can advance scientific endeavors.
Radboud University's radio astronomer Heino Falcke said he first images are still crappy, but they can use it to test Einstein's theory of gravity in a black hole, which is considered an extreme environment. Researchers spent five nights of observation to get the closest look ever or a black hole. The team has to undergo the grueling task of determining which nights have the perfect weather conditions all over the world to get the best data.
The radio-observatories that have been linked to each other are like an Earth-sized telescope that can resolve Sagittarius A*'s event horizon, News Week reported. The EHT also observed the giant black located at the center of M87, which is 4 billion times the sun's mass. Its size is a thousand times more than the mass of Sagittarius A*.
UMass Amherst's Professor Gopal Narayan said that Einstein's general theory of relativity states that quantum mechanics and general relativity can be unified into fundamental concepts. And this can only be observed on the event horizon, which is the edge of a black hole where no light can escape beyond it. With the success of the team's first black hole image of the black hole, this theory will finally be proven or debunked.