May 16, 2022

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The “Holy Grail” of the Milky Way: What Scientists Are Announcing Today

Search for a file Black hole At the center of our galaxy can be the image of the nodes. Why not, maybe from the century. Black holes have fascinated the scientific world for more than a century, ever since Albert Einstein presented his theory of general relativity to explain gravity. In 2019, the first image of a black hole, a singularity in the galaxy M87, was presented to the world. taken from event horizon telescope (Eth), Travel the world at the speed of a click.

Well, today, the group that brought us the first image of a black hole in 2019 is going to give us great news. We can only assume that today’s announcement is just as important.

there National Science Foundation The (Nsf) of the United States announced the “exciting discovery” by mentioning the Milky Way at a press conference (one of many) from the web page devoted to black holes. We can assume that today’s event revolves around Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Eht’s Twitter profile bio also worries us about this possibility.

It will undoubtedly be the holy grail for researchers from the Eht group, eager to photograph it since 2017.

event horizon telescope

L ‘any is a global network of telescopes usingInterferometry With a very wide base (Vlbi Very Long Basic Interferometry – Vlbi) to observe celestial bodies in great detail, especially Black hole. Interferometry is a method of collecting radio signals from distant sources from multiple telescopes, then fusing them together “virtually” to build a more detailed image compared to a single telescope.

EHT is a global cooperation that requires different forces from companies in this sector, such as the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the (Nsf) of the United States and the observatory. Altacama large millimeter matrix (Alma), to name a few. The main task is to study supermassive black holes, such as black holes Sagittarius A* (also called Sgr A*) located in the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Its mass is about 4.3 million the masses of the Sun and its location is calculated to be only 25,000 light-years from Earth. Eht focuses not only on Sagittarius A*, but on black holes in general and especially on the physics that govern their behavior and effects on other celestial bodies.

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The telescope system has already been used to measure not only the Sagittarius A* emission regions, but also the galaxy Messier 87 (named M87 or Virgo A), where in 2019 Eht researchers took the first “image” of a black hole .

The black hole in the galaxy M87. Photo from Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

What is a black hole?

A black hole is a celestial body that is extremely difficult to observe directly. It’s an object created by mass explosions so large that they create a very strong gravitational field. This field attracts matter, radiation and even light. In the world of relativistic physics, a black hole is a region High curvature of spacetime.

The study of these bodies is relevant in general relativity, the theory published by Albert Einstein in 1916 to describe gravity. He replaces Newton’s theory where gravity is an action between objects of mass with the concept that gravity is a result, and hence the effect of a law involving spacetime, mass, momentum and energy with “geometry” or rather “curvature” (hence the term “space-time curvature”). So the black hole theory was put forward by Einstein in general relativity to represent a state of extreme curvature of space and thus the point of the intense gravitational force.

It is located in the center of the black hole.exclusivity“, this is the point where the curvature tends to infinity and the magnitude to zero. We obviously don’t know what’s going on inside the black hole, but nothing is able to escape its gravity. And since light also cannot escape, there is no light that can escape its gravity. It goes back to our telescopes to make us see the singularity (remember that the eye needs to ‘see the light reflected back towards us’ to see an object). The singularity and the outer part, i.e. space, is called ‘event horizon(From the English event horizon). What happens outside the event horizon is unknown. The effects on space-time are severe. According to Einstein, there is an expansion of space-time where slows down to infinity (We already know that time slows down as a function of velocity.) In this case, nothing would be able to go beyond the event horizon because time would slow down, so the “thing” would take indefinitely (ie never) time to enter the black hole. Obviously, distortion is relative. So this would only happen to an observer looking at the event horizon from a distance. If the observer were the thing falling toward the singularity, he would not notice the slowing of time.

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The first image of a black hole

The first image of a black hole dates back only to April 10, 2019, when the EHT announced an exciting discovery. This discovery was the first image of a singularity at the center of the galaxy M87 in the constellation Virgo. The image, which many have chosen as the “image of the century”, clearly shows an orange ring formed by the bending of light due to intense gravity. It is a very important piece of evidence in proving general relativity, which precisely explores the nature of gravity as the curvature of space rather than as an invisible force between two objects of mass.

Einstein believed that if a black hole was immersed in a bright region, a shadow would be seen due to the bending and catching of light on the event horizon. From the photos from 2019, it looks like he was right. The photos collected are of great importance. Not only to confirm the current reality, but also as a method of comparison to the scientific models used to describe the behavior of spatial curvature. The following Eht video lets us “jump aboard” a telescope and share the journey from Earth to the black hole within M87.

You can follow the event in streaming on the following pages:

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