We all know how mysterious black holes are. Researchers have used the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), and they have managed to take a photo of one. This is a brand new thing for us. We’ve basically seen the unseeable. Black holes aren’t just some theories; they’re really there. And now we know what one looks like.
The image shows an orange ring around a black silhouette and is one of the black holes that are at the center of Messier 87 (M87). Messier is a galaxy that’s situated 0 million light-years from Earth. This one is the most massive one ever found; it’s six billion times more massive than the Sun – our Sun.
Black holes are so thick and their gravity is so strong, that anything that crosses their threshold will get pulled into them, and then they would never return. We’re talking about both matter and light – it makes them black and invisible, which means that they are then very difficult to see or photograph.
There’s an international team of about 200 people that spent more than ten years working in order to get this picture.
Why is this picture so important?
The picture is amazing. We also have a glimpse of the future, because this actually shows a new era in astronomy, one full of research in the gravity field. These images allow researchers to actually test Einstein’s general theory of relativity in many different ways – some of them never knew before. Here on Earth, Newton’s laws of physics work pretty good. However, when gravity is extreme, Newton’s laws shows different things. We’re talking about an extreme gravity that does not exist in our Solar System. However, it’s present in black holes.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.