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Scientists Ready To Capture Photos Of Black Holes

First Posted: Feb 23, 2017 03:40 AM EST
Black Hole
Scientists are ready to capture photos of black holes, but it might take a while before the public gets to see them.
(Photo : Naked Science/YouTube screenshot)

Any person who took at least elementary Astronomy knows that black holes are not actually holes. But rather, they are bodies of dead stars that collapsed on themselves, therefore absorbing matter and condensing them into small spaces.

However, because of their massive gravity pull being condensed into such a small area, not even light can escape the black hole, which is why, from human telescopes, they appear as a black space or hole. Despite this, scientists believe that they are now on the verge of obtaining the first ever image of a black hole. This is by stitching together data that they have collected from radio telescopes from around the world.

According to Marshall Town, researchers are hoping to be able to produce the first actual image of a black hole by April this year, thanks to radio telescopes of a large-scale project known as Event Horizon Telescope. it will observe a monstrous black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy from April 5 to April 14, called Saguttarius A.

It is about 3 million times larger than the Sun and is located around 26,000 lightyears away from the planet Earth. It has never been seen directly, but scientists remain convinced of its existence due to its effect on nearby stars.

To produce its first image, the telescope will have to try a technique called interferometry, which combines data from various sources to create a pattern that can help them measure and analyze the said body. The data will then be recorded onto hard drive and will be sent to MIT Haystack Observatory in Massachussetts for further processing.

BBC News noted that some smart algorithms are still needed to be developed to make sense of the EHT's observations. It could take at least by the end of the year or even at the start of 2018 before anyone can get a glance of what a real black hole looks like.

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