Telescopes around the world have been working together to provide us with the first photograph of a black hole. This is an enormous scientific achievement that will help us better understand the structure of space around these mysterious objects.
Although we can’t actually see black holes themselves, the space around them provides important clues about their properties. When matter falls into a black hole’s gravitational pull, it forms a glowing accretion disc that emits intense heat due to the friction generated by its rotation. However, at a certain distance from the black hole, called the event horizon, there is no escape, and everything falls in, even light.
The Event Horizon Telescope is focused on photographing the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, Sagittarius A*. This black hole is millions of times the mass of the Sun and therefore easier to see. In 2013, observations of Sagittarius A* with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) radio telescope in Chile helped to narrow down the resolution to just three Schwarzschild radii, or the radius of the event horizon.
These observations revealed details as small as 36 million kilometers, which may seem large, but is smaller than the expected size of the accretion disc. Despite this, astronomers have been able to work out models of the event horizon’s structure and have found that it could be shaped like a giant doughnut around the black hole.
This is an exciting discovery that could help explain why black holes seem to be so hungry. Future observations by the Event Horizon Telescope will provide more data and allow us to build a more comprehensive picture of the structure of space around black holes.
In conclusion, the collaboration of telescopes around the world has produced significant results in our understanding of black holes. This research is an important step forward in our knowledge of the universe and its most mysterious objects. The potential to capture the first photograph of a black hole is a monumental achievement that highlights the power of scientific collaboration and technology.