Wednesday 10th April 2019 will go down in history as the day the first ever image of a 'Supermassive Black Hole' was captured. This is a huge scientific achievement that has taken the cooperation of over 200 scientists from around the globe and years of planning to achieve.
This extraordinary task was only possible due to the correlation of 8 telescopes, non of which were built to handle a task of this scale and adjustments had to be made to each.
There was a small time frame to achieve this image as all of the telescopes working simultaneously had to have a clear sky to achieve the outcome. These telescopes are situated in Spain, Hawaii, Chile, Mexico, Arizona and the South Pole. The only time of year these countries are all promised clear skies is April.
The image collected can be seen below...
This Supermassive Black Hole resides in the Messier87 Galaxy, which is 55 million light-years away from our beautiful planet Earth. This incredible hole in space is recorded to have a mass 6.5 million times that of the sun.
The gravitational pull of this Supermassive Black Hole is so strong that not even light can escape it's pull. Space matter such as gas and dust hurdle into the abyss so fast that they become superheated, with some parts being sent shooting across the cosmos. The particles sucked within the gaping hole will never return again!
Scientists are over the moon (pardon the pun) with this breakthrough, they hope the image will help answer questions about the strange black hole's edge. It will also allow them to test Einstein’s theories as one of the most extreme environments in the universe. The researchers have already determined that the silhouette of the black hole’s event horizon matches the predictions of general relativity, proving Einstein right again.
France Cordova, Director of the National Science Foundation which helped fund the project, simply stated... “As an astrophysicist, this is a thrilling day for me. We have been studying black holes for so long, it is easy to forget that none of us have ever seen one.”
Now I don't know about you, but the idea of being sucked through a black hole of nothingness FOREVER freaks me out. So that's enough space chatter for me, I'll catch you next week with another mind blowing bit of info for your beautiful brains. Until then, stay wicked you crazy cats!