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Scientists Pursue Black Hole Photography

First Posted: Apr 07, 2017 04:20 AM EDT

Students have been taught early on about the existence of black holes. While many think this far-off place in space is where things go to die, they are much more complex than that. In fact, at this point, despite what has been taught about them, scientists are yet to see a black hole -- a fact they want to change soon.

To do that, astronomers are campaigning to capture the first-ever image of a black hole. With the help of radio telescopes around the world, scientists plan on peering at a gigantic black hole in the center of the Milky Way. The particular one, called Sagittarius A, is 4 million times more massive than the Earth's own Sun.

According to Space.com researchers are hoping to photograph the said black hole's event horizon, or its "point of no return," where nothing -- not even light -- could escape. The photos are necessary to help scientists sort through many theories regarding these mysterious cosmic bodies. Because of the fact that black holes are so dense that no light could escape, scientists are now working to have them observed indirectly instead. By doing so, they were able to detect shock waves of a collision between two black holes in the far universe last year.

But how long before scientists could make "seeing" a black hole possible? The Independent noted that it could be soon. Observatories around the world have now been linked up and turned toward Sagittarrius A to get the image of the said black hole, and the work will continue on for another week or so.

Gopal Narayanan of the University of Massachusetts Amherst said that the data from the project will be used to understand black holes the way scientists never understood them before. Until then, scientists from all over the globe can pore through information to help them see one of the most mysterious things in the entire universe.

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