Scientists set to reveal first-ever image of a black hole

In Astrophysics Milestone First

You will soon be able to see the first-ever photo of a black hole

The "groundbreaking result" from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project will be announced on Wednesday, April 10 at 9 a.m. ET. This includes the director of the EHT project, Shepherd Doeleman, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Daniel Marrone, an astronomer with the University of Arizona, Avery Broderick, from the University of Waterloo in Canada, and Sera Markoff, of the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Black holes are the dark remnants of collapsed stars whose gravity is so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape. For instance, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A*, is about the size of the orbit of Mercury.

The Event Horizon Telescope project plans to reveal the first-ever images of a black hole, and the global group of researchers working on the project have something very big to show the world this week.

Here on Earth, the prospect of seeing a black hole for the first time is having a similar effect on the media's ability to contain its enthusiasm for what promises to be one of the biggest science stories of the year. The theory was put forward in 1915, with an intent to explain the laws of gravity and their relation to other natural forces.

In their attempt to capture an image of a black hole, scientists combined the power of eight radio telescopes around the world using Very-Long-Baseline-Interferometry, according to the European Southern Observatory, which is part of the EHT.

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And the black hole is only located about 26,000 light-years away from Earth - a distance of 152,844,260,000,000,000 miles (245,978,990,000,000,000km). Streaming away from M87 at almost the speed of light is a very big jet of subatomic particles. At the center of most galaxies lies a supermassive black hole, which can have a mass billions of times greater than that of the sun, all crammed in a relatively small volume. All matter that falls inside a black hole is crushed to a point at the centre called the singularity, where spacetime folds in on itself. The telescopes that collected that initial data are located in the US states of Arizona and Hawaii as well as Mexico, Chile, Spain and Antarctica.

The images, once we see them, will have been made possible by a planet-wide network of telescopes working in unison to peer deeper into the galaxy than ever before.

In what is being heralded as a key scientific breakthrough, scientists from around the world will release the first-ever images of a black hole - celestial behemoths so dense that their gravitational field swallows everything, including light, that it comes in contact with.

The new observations will be used to detect evidence of what happens at the edge, or shadow, of a black hole.

Einstein's theory, if correct, should allow for an extremely accurate prediction of the size and shape of a black hole.

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