Today, the first ever black hole image will be released in a live stream. Scientists from the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration will present their findings.
After two years of gathering and processing the data from radio telescopes pointed at black holes, the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration will be announcing the first black hole image via a live stream which you can watch at the bottom of this page from 15:00pm CEST.
What is a black hole?
Black holes are extraordinary cosmic objects. NASA defines a black hole as having “a gravitational pull… so intense that nothing, not even light, can escape it once inside a certain region, called the event horizon.”
The three types of black holes are:
- Primordial black holes, which are thought to have formed in the early universe, soon after the Big Bang.
- Stellar black holes, when the centre of a very massive star collapses in upon itself.
- Supermassive black holes formed at the same time as the galaxy they are in.
The first ever black hole image
So far we haven’t seen black holes, explains ERC grantee Prof.Paolo Pani@SMFN_Sapienza: “Insteadwe see an absence of light from them. Black holes are a big mystery.” Full story: https://t.co/o4gVffITCf #EHTBlackHole @SapienzaRoma pic.twitter.com/IlrxVXMWJY
— ERC Europe (@ERC_Research) 6 April 2019
Working together with partners around the world can lead to achieving the unthinkable and moving the horizons of our knowledge. Today we announce the 🔭 #EHTBlackHole astronomy results, part #EUfunded through @BlackHoleCam and @RadioNet_EU. Live Twitter broadcast at 15.00 CEST. pic.twitter.com/3nG42xEY9q
— Carlos Moedas (@Moedas) 10 April 2019
NSF Director France Córdova, commented: “This is a huge day in astrophysics. We’re seeing the unseeable. Black holes have sparked imaginations for decades. They have exotic properties and are mysterious to us. Yet with more observations like this one they are yielding their secrets. ”
The image is of the black hole Sagittarius A*, at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun.
The chair of the EHT Science Council Heino Falcke of Radboud University, said: “If immersed in a bright region, like a disc of glowing gas, we expect a black hole to create a dark region similar to a shadow – something predicted by Einstein’s general relativity that we’ve never seen before. This shadow, caused by the gravitational bending and capture of light by the event horizon, reveals a lot about the nature of these fascinating objects and allowed us to measure the enormous mass of M87’s black hole.”
Watch it live
The European Commission is holding a live YouTube stream today, 10 April 2019, at 15:00 CEST (Brussels time).The stream will present the ground-breaking discovery by Event Horizon Telescope. The European Commission writes that the international scientific collaboration is aiming to capture the first image of a black hole by creating a virtual Earth-sized telescope.
You can watch the stream below.