Event Horizon Telescope Could Capture The First Real Image Of A Black Hole

Elaine Hannah
First Posted: Feb 17, 2017 03:30 AM EST

Has anybody seen a black hole? Apparently, no one. Black hole is very dark that makes it impossible to photograph. On the other hand, thanks to the development of this new telescope, the Event Horizon Telescope could capture images of a black hole in April this year.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) comprises of a global network of radio telescopes, which are located across the planet Earth including the U.S., French Alps, Chile and South Pole. It combines data from many very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) stations around the planet. VLBI is a technique in which the network of receivers will focus in on radio waves emitted by a certain object in space.

EHT's main target is to observe the Milky Way's supermassive black hole called Sagittarius A*. The network will be in operation between April 5 and April 14, 2017. It will examine the immediate environment around the black hole and could get sufficient resolution to see the black hole, according to Science Alert.

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Sheperd Doeleman from the Harvard-Smithsonian center for Astrophysics was in great excitement. He said that in April they are going to make the observations that they think have the first real chance of bringing a black hole's event horizon in focus.

Event Horizon Telescope could only not take images of the black hole. The scientists could also update their algorithm including factors such as how the black holes change over time or their magnetic fields. One scientist said that it could ultimately make movies of materials being eaten by a black hole.

The researchers also expect EHT to provide data of what the black hole looks like. They speculate that it will look like a bright ring of light around a dark blob. This light is generated by gas and dust particles that are increasing in high speed before they are destroyed and eaten by a black hole. Meanwhile, the dark blob would be the shadow cast over the scenario. On the other hand, in Albert Einstein's theory, it could look like a crescent of light than a ring due to the Doppler effect that makes the material moving towards the planet appear much brighter.

So, what could be the black hole look like? The answer remains to be seen as the Event Horizon Telescope will explore more of the black hole. Science enthusiasts could look forward to it in April this year.

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