Stars? Universe? Space? Black Holes? These things are things that we can only have a sight of over the Internet. However, some of the images that we see online are not legitimate. But would you ever want to see a real picture of something in the universe?
You might be one of those people how likes to stare off in the night sky; to look at the moon and the stars that surround the earth. You might also be wondering how the rest of the universe looks like in reality. It’s just amazing how things so far away from our planet Earth looks really amazing and beautiful that it leaves a ton of questions in our mind on how things work outside our planet.
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Now, in terms of space and galaxies, scientists have made really great discoveries but up to this date, there are still many things yet to be known or discovered. One of the best discoveries yet, is that they were able to capture a photo of a black hole.
Just recently, a new discovery or shall we say, “the first-ever photograph of a Black Hole” has been captured.
The said image took a team of around 200 scientists and a specific powerful network of eight (8) telescopes located in different parts of the world; this strategy is for them to be able to see different angles of the black hole. This project was born from the dreams of Professor Heino Falcke from Radboud University.
The professor first thought of the project way back in the year 1993 at the time that he was taking his doctorate degree. He realized at that time that it is possible that a black hole’s radio emission can be strong enough to reach Earth’s telescope, making way for us humans to be able to capture an image of it.
The project had many hindrances especially in terms of funding this project. Professor Heino Falcke took about twenty (20) years to argue and defend his case but was eventually heard out. He was granted funding by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the European Research Council (ERC), and other agencies found and operating in East Asia.
With what started from a dream, lead to success and after 26 years in the making, they were able to capture an image of a black hole. The black hole is located in Galaxy M87 and is worth more than $50 million of funding.
If you take a look at the image, it shows that the black hole is a “ring of fire” that encircles a dark center. The outer portion is superheated gas which is entering the black hole. Since it is superheated gas, it creates the halo surrounding effect and the edge of the black circle is the point where the gas starts entering the hole.
The size of the black hole is 40 billion km across, which is three times (3x) the size of the Earth. The term “monster” is how the scientists describes it. Just imagine how it would be like if a black hole was placed near our planet.
In an interview with BBC, Professor Falcke said that this singularity is bigger than the entire solar system that we currently dwell in. It’s more than a million times larger than the size of a sun.
What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System. It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe.”
With what started as a dream and concept ended as a successful project which has given answers to some questions that were lingering for some time and might possibly open up new concepts in terms of making new projects and discoveries involving black holes.
One collaborator of the project, Dr. Ziri Younsi of the the University College London, said that this image is close to what they have always imagined a Black Hole will look like. He commended the astonishing view and the fact that humans were able to picture what a black hole really looks like.
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Although they are relatively simple objects, black holes raise some of the most complex questions about the nature of space and time, and ultimately of our existence. It is remarkable that the image we observe is so similar to that which we obtain from our theoretical calculations. So far, it looks like Einstein is correct once again.”
Where is this black hole located?
Don’t worry because we will not actually be swallowed by this singularity of energy. It’s 500 million trillion kilometers away from us; the fact that eight telescopes conspired to be able to capture this image is amazing.
Although this big achievement has been successful, we are still ways far from answering deeper questions posed by this discovery. In fact, the Scientists and the Astronomers who were part of the project had another problem they want to resolve in a few years time. According to Professor Fackle, we still have to understand how the light is generated in the black hole.
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We have lots of theories on how these types of holes existed and such but clear answers are yet to be discovered. Scientists are still pondering how the halo around the black hole has been created, and as always, the most frequently asked question: What happens to the objects that falls and become entrapped into the black hole.
So what do you think of this image? Do you like how the Black Hole looks like? We hope that this serves to be an example for you/us to chase dreams that you think is possible. Like Professor Falcke did, always push and try doing what you love and take time to reach your dream because in the end, success would always be within reach.
Remember, it took the Professor more than 20 years to be able to pull this off. What makes you think you can’t reach yours?