Get ready for one of the greatest scientific news of the century. It seems astronomers will soon be showing the first shot of a black hole.
Event Horizon Telescope participants (including a series of telescopes from around the world) have scheduled a number of press conferences around the world on April 10 to make announcement about “a groundbreaking result”. So far, the details are unknown. We can assume, however, that these are the first results of their mission to capture for the first time the event horizon of a black hole.
The black hole is a space-time area that has so strong gravitational effects that nothing – even light – can escape from it. This means that direct image is impossible because the visible light is completely absent. In addition, black holes absorb all other forms of electromagnetic radiation. Ie. we can not observe them with the help of radio waves, X-rays, gamma rays and other similar types of telescopes.
What we can do is to observe the event horizon of the black hole – the point of no return. Beyond it, nothing can escape the gravitational forces of this cosmic object. In other words, a potential image would be a black hole “silhouette”.
Project Event Horizon Telescope is dedicated to the study of Sagittarius A *. This is our closest supermassive black hole (SMBH) in our known universe – it’s about 25,000 light-years from the Earth in the center of the Milky Way.
For several years, they have been dedicated to the goal of observing the immediate environment of a black hole. The project actually collected their data in April 2017, however, it takes several years to process the data and produce a final image.
Considering how high-profile the announcement is, there’s a possibility this could be a “mission accomplished” moment. So, grab some popcorn and be prepared for Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 1pm UTC (3pm CEST, 9am ET, 6am PT). The event will be live streamed on the ESO website, by the European Research Council YouTube channel, and on social media.