In a media conference simultaneously held across the world, the biggest recent advancement yet in space science was revealed Wednesday, April 10. The priced collection? The first picture of a black hole.
The size of the black hole is big enough to fit planet Earth 300 million times over.
Breakthrough, A global Collaboration
Creating a telescope with sufficient magnifying power to take the picture is impossible. It has taken many to do the job.
Numerous telescopes located in over four continents and over varied locations were linked together to form a simulated observatory as big as the Earth, which eventually was termed Event Horizon Telescope. The name drew inspiration from the area bordering a black hole that holds concentrated gravitational force.
In addition, over 200 experts coming from 60 different institutions contributed to the project. One of them is Katie Bouman, PhD student from MIT. She created the algorithm that was used to piece together the images taken by EHT. The grid of telescopes took enormous amount of information that it required physically transferring hard drives of data from one laboratory to another.
For Prof Heino Falcke, who first proposed the use of EHT in his PhD study, the image is the finale of a work that spanned decades.
Funding of the experiment was mainly from National Science Foundation, together with other Asian companies. The total value plays around £40m.
The Other Black Hole
The other black hole observed throughout the experiment was the one near the center of our very own galaxy, which is called Sagittarius A.
Even though it was nearer, Sagittarius A produced lesser vivid images due to its massive activity.
Black Holes are massive regions of condensed matter that results to a powerful gravitational force that no known object can escape from.
Ultimately, the image proved Albert Einstein’s calculations in his 1915 theory are correct. What has been proven only in numbers and theory is now made real by this image.