Astronomers photographed a black hole. Possible

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2017-04-15 08:30:06

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Astronomers photographed a black hole. Possible

This is not a photo of a black hole. This is artistic representation

The Project to create a virtual planetary telescope Event Horizon is fully completed and the system has already started to work, providing astronomers with a giant amount of new scientific data. The main interest of this news is that thanks to this telescope, scientists were able for five sleepless nights to finally watch the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* located in the center of our galaxy. What does this mean for science? This means that the astronomers were able for the first time in history to take a photo of a black hole.

The Monitoring was conducted from 4 April. Several times due to bad weather, and also some software failures he had to interrupt, but eventually the task was done and observation was completed on April 11. The Event Horizon telescope, we recall, consists of multiple telescopes located around the world and combined into a single virtual network. Through this approach, scientists get a virtual telescope the size of a planet and diameter is almost 10 thousand kilometers.

With the Event Horizon, the researchers conducted observation of two barely visible dots in the night sky. One of these points is Sagittarius A* — a supermassive black hole at the center of the milky Way. The second point was a black hole at the center adjacent to us galaxy M87.

"Even if the first image will be of low quality and blurry, they will still be able to benefit when testing the basic predictions of Einstein's theory of gravitation concerning the extreme conditions inherent in the environment of black holes", — says astronomer Heino falcke of the Dutch University of Nijmegen the name of the Holy Radbod Utrecht.

"the Actual photo of the black hole will allow you to transfer these objects from the category mythical in the category of something real, something that we will actually be able to study about it."

So, it's time to enjoy first photos of a black hole? Yet. Despite the successful collection of necessary information, the team of astronomers take several more months to analyze the data and find out whether they could capture her. The fact that each of the eight combined into a virtual network telescope observatories in total gathered over 500 TB of data that was recorded on a 1024 hard drive. The Observatory does not have the equipment capable to analyze this volume of data, therefore, the media information will be delivered to the Observatory Haystack (owned by the Massachusetts Institute of technology, USA) and the Institute for radio astronomy max Planck in Bonn (Germany). Both laboratories have supercomputers that are able to analyze and structure such a huge dataset. It is possible that the results of the analysis of this information, we wait until early 2018. Part of the problem lies in the fact that the hard drives from the Observatory to the South pole can be obtained for analysis until October of this year.

In General, have to do a lot of work before we can get any results. Still, the team of astronomers involved in this project, is very optimistic. In the end, this is the first case where a South pole telescope and Techniques large antenna array of millimeter range (a set of 66 radiotrack established in Chile) worked together and tried to capture a black hole. Only one Brand grille itself increased the power of the virtual telescope Event Horizon ten orders of magnitude, and power is exactly what you need when you're trying to see something, which is very, very far away from you.

This is also not a photo of a black hole. This is a computer-generated model

And yet what type of image can we expect? Perhaps no more than a colour image in the representation of the artist as what you can see above, only more accurate and appropriate to the real situation. According to the General theory of relativity to see that we will be able not more than the image illuminated in the shape of a Crescent of gas and dust that constitute the accretion disk of a black hole. If I get to see something different, then for millions of scientists around the world in the near future there will be a lot of work that does not require a delay.

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