Scientists have long known about the existence of black holes but they’ve never actually been able to see one. Black holes are typically invisible because the immense gravity sucks in all the light. Researchers are hopeful, however, that the new Event Horizon Telescope will be able to capture the first photograph ever of a black hole.
The Event Horizon Telescope isn’t just one extremely powerful telescope. According to the Daily Mail, a team of scientists will use 50 radio telescopes from around in order to capture a picture of a black hole. Project Event Horizon Telescope will attempt to capture images of the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The project will also test Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity.
Dimitrios Psaltis, an associate professor of astrophysics at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory, said:
“Nobody has ever taken a picture of a black hole. We are going to do just that.”
Sheperd Doeleman, am assistant professor at MIT and principal investigator on the project, explained that Project Event Horizon Telescope will actually be taking an image of the black hole’s shadow.
“As dust and gas swirls around the black hole before it is drawn inside, a kind of cosmic traffic jam ensues… ‘Swirling around the black hole like water circling the drain in a bathtub, the matter compresses and the resulting friction turns it into plasma heated to a billion degrees or more, causing it to ‘glow’ – and radiate energy that we can detect here on Earth.”
Physorg reports that a black hole appears as empty space in the universe. And although it’s widely accepted that this empty space is a black hole, there is no direct evidence that a black hole exists.
“So far, we have indirect evidence that there is a black hole at the center of the Milky Way… But once we see its shadow, there will be no doubt.”
Do you think Project Event Horizon Telescope will be able to spot the black hole at the center of the Milky Way?