CAS: First ever black hole images in the final stage of 'printing'

In astrophysics milestone first

As per the US National Science Foundation website, the final results from Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project will be announced via a press conference on April 10 at 9:00 am EDT (Eastern Time), that translates to 6:30 pm IST (Indian Standard Time).

So even if astronomers can not observe the black hole itself, they see what happens along its border, or event horizon - also known as the "point of no return".

Images of SgrA are likely to show a lopsided ring of brightness due to gravity bending light closer to the black hole more strongly than light further away.

Astrophysicists not involved in the project, including McNamara, are eagerly - perhaps anxiously - waiting to see if the findings challenge Einstein's theory of general relativity, which has never been tested on this scale.

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There is so much data being collected that the image we will see on Wednesday was actually created back in 2017.

This day, years in the making, is the product of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which is a collaboration of several observatories around the world to form a radio telescope array as wide as Earth itself. That theory, put forward in 1915, was meant to explain the laws of gravity and their relation to other natural forces.

The project was established in 2012 by dozens of institutions around the world, with the goal of developing a way of capturing an elusive black hole. The project has been peering at two supermassive black holes - the one at the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy, and the one at the core of the galaxy M87. Black holes exist from the size of a human cell to more massive than the sun.

The EHT's other target, M87, is notable for shooting out a fast jet of charged subatomic particles that stretches for some 5 000 light years.

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More than 13 billion years after they formed, the light that was released to create these distant massive black holes is now reaching our telescopes.

Supermassive black holes are interesting as they are in some ways linked to the evolution of galaxies. The 200-strong team distributed the surface area of the combined "global telescope" across the planet in order to increase its magnifying power.

The team said such observations will help scientists better understand the gravitational effect near black holes and what happens to light when it is sucked in.

Dr. Urry pointed out that evidence for the existence of black holes has mounted steadily since the 1960s, including the Nobel Prize-winning detection, in 2015, of vibrations in spacetime from two colliding black holes by the LIGO experiment. The scientists will be looking for a ring of light - disrupted matter and radiation circling at tremendous speed at the edge of the event horizon - around a region of darkness representing the actual black hole. Theory states that the singularity is permanently hidden from view behind the "event horizon", defined as the radius within which nothing can leave the black hole.

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