The First Ever Image of a Black Hole Was Just Released!

Oh my God, I have been watching so many shows about how astronomers and NASA were planning to use multiple telescopes around the world to try to get images from space. They did it! And they just gave us our first real image of a BLACK HOLE.

Via BBC:

Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy.

It measures 40 billion km across - three million times the size of the Earth - and has been described by scientists as "a monster".

The black hole is 500 million trillion km away and was photographed by a network of eight telescopes across the world.

Details have been published today in Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Prof Heino Falcke, of Radboud University in the Netherlands, who proposed the experiment, told BBC News that the black hole was found in a galaxy called M87.

"What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System," he said.

"It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe."

 

Prof Falcke had the idea for the project when he was a PhD student in 1993. At the time, no-one thought it was possible. But he was the first to realise that a certain type of radio emission would be generated close to and all around the black hole, which would be powerful enough to be detected by telescopes on Earth.

He also recalled reading a scientific paper from 1973 that suggested that because of their enormous gravity, black holes appear 2.5 times larger than they actually are.

These two previously unknown factors suddenly made the seemingly impossible, possible. After arguing his case for 20 years, Prof Falcke persuaded theEuropean Research Councilto fund the project. The National Science Foundation and agencies in East Asia then joined in to bankroll the project to the tune of more than £40m.

Read more HERE!

Robin Jones

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