The first picture of the Black hole - Seeker's Thoughts

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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

The first picture of the Black hole


Astronomers on April 10 unveiled the first photo of a black hole which matched somehow with the pictures drawn by the artists in last many years.

The image has a  dark core encircled by a flame-orange halo of white-hot gas and plasma. 


Scientists have been puzzling over invisible “dark stars” since the 18th century, but never has one been spied by a telescope, much less photographed.

The supermassive black hole now immortalised by a far-flung network of radio telescopes is 50 million lightyears away in a galaxy known as M87.  

How was it made possible?

Since April 2017, a global web of eight radio telescope began surveying the Messier 87 black hole and the black hole in the center of our galazy Milky Way.

In the centre of our galaxy the black hole is known as Saggitarius A*. It has mass 4.1 million of our sun.
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The black hole at the center of M87, by contrast, has a mass equivalent to perhaps 7 billion suns, or 1,700 times bigger than our own black hole. But at 2,700 times the distance, it was even harder to make an image of.

These eight radio telescope are located in six places- Chile, Mexico, Spain, Hawaii, Arizona and Antarctic and collectively it is known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

One thing that made the work possible was not just the number of telescopes collaborating in the search, but their geographic distribution. The distance among the detectors—especially the 9,000-mi. north-south stretch from Spain to Antarctica—effectively means a collection dish nearly as big as the Earth itself. That allows for an enormous amount of data to be gathered and collated

What are black holes?

A black hole (the phrase is usually credited to the American physicist john wheeler in 1967, and is certainly a distinct improvement on the original label of “gravitationally completely collapsed objects”) is a region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, including electromagnetic  radiation such as  visible light, can't escape its pull – a kind of bottomless pit in space-time.

As its centre lies an infinitely small infinitely dense singularity a space where the normal laws of physics break down.

How does the Black hole take birth?

When a star dies, it collapses inward rapidly. As it collapses, the star explodes into a supernova—a catastrophic expulsion of its outer material. The dying star continues to collapse until it becomes a singularity—something consisting of zero volume and infinite density. It is this seemingly impossible contradiction that causes a black hole to form.

The extreme density of the new singularity pulls everything toward it, including space-time.

What is singularity?

A singularity means a point where some property is infinite. For example, at the center of a black hole, according to classical theory, the density is infinite (because a finite mass is compressed to a zero volume). Hence it is a singularity. Similarly, if you extrapolate the properties of the universe to the instant of the Big Bang, you will find that both the density and the temperature go to infinity, and so that also is a singularity. It must be stated that these come due to the breaking down of the classical theory.

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What does it mean to humanity taking the first picture of the black hole?

True to the nature of the science, the picture does not show the black hole itself. The defining feature of all black holes is that they are so dense, generating a gravity field so powerful, that nothing, not even electromagnetic energy—which, of course, includes visible light—can escape their pull. What the pictures reveal instead is the black holes’ so-called event horizons, the swirl of gas and dust and stars and light itself, circling the black hole drain, before they’re sucked inside never, ever to re-emerge.




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