The image was obtained using eight radio telescopes located in different parts of the Earth.
The researchers held six conferences in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo, where they presented the first image of the black hole event horizon. The picture was obtained using the Event Horizon Telescope project (“Event Horizon Telescope”), which was launched in 2012 to observe black holes.
Astrophysicists have obtained the image of a black hole in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, located at a distance of 54 million light years from Earth. Scientists have also observed the black hole Sagittarius A * (Sagittarius A *), located in the center of the Milky Way.
A black hole is a region of space that has a strong attraction, because of which light cannot leave it. Scientists believe that they exist based on the general theory of relativity. These objects are invisible and absorb electromagnetic radiation, so they cannot be detected with the naked eye. Researchers can only observe radiation, electromagnetic waves, and distortion of the space around a black hole.
Scientists were able to capture its “shadow” – a ring of radiation and matter on the edge of the event horizon. Researchers received not just a photo, but processed images taken with radio telescopes.
To observe black holes, a telescope would be needed that cannot withstand its own weight. Therefore, scientists used eight observatories located in Hawaii, the United States, Spain, Mexico, Chile and the South Pole. Each telescope measured radiation emanating from black holes. Astrophysicists collected the information obtained on a supercomputer and created an image that looks like it was made with the help of one huge Earth-sized telescope.
Previously, scientists have already received images of radiation emitted from hot gas around black holes. For example, in 2013, NASA captured an image of radiation around a black hole Sagittarius A *.