First ever black hole images in the final stage of 'printing — CAS

At the Event Horizon Astrophysicists Set to Reveal First

At the Event Horizon Astrophysicists Set to Reveal First

After years of global efforts, the first ever images of the black hole is now in the final stage of "printing" and will be released next Wednesday, according to Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Recently revealed to represent a wide array of sizes - from tiny pinpricks to objects large enough to swallow a galactic cluster - black holes are formed when extremely large stars die, collapsing in upon themselves with a gravity so high that all matter and radiation - including light - is trapped inside the event horizon boundary layer. Black holes are powerful wells of gravity where the pull is so strong even light is sucked in, making black holes seeming impossible to observe directly.

The first - called Sagittarius A* - is situated at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy, possessing four million times the mass of our sun and located 26,000 light years from Earth.

On Wednesday, six simultaneous news conferences will present what is being called a "groundbreaking result" from the work of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.

According to USA space agency NASA, the black hole weighs in at four million times the mass of our Sun.

The black hole in the centre of the Milky Way is a supermassive black hole known as Sagittarius A*.

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During a press conference at last month's South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, Sheperd Doeleman, who is the director of the Event Horizon Telescope, shared a quirky anecdote so people could relate to the kind of challenges involved in this project.

This illustrationmost-distant supermassive black hole ever discovered. In this case, the researchers turned the whole planet into a huge telescope by combining eight radio telescopes located all around the world.

The telescope uses radio dishes around the world to create an Earth-sized interferometer, which is basically an instrument in which the interference of two beams of light is employed to make precise measurements.

Wednesday news conference is expected to provide the first image of Sagittarius A* shadow on its accompanying disk of bright material. Since then, telescopes in France and Greenland have been added to the network. Researchers have also designed computer simulations and models that compute the shape of a black hole's event horizon, which can be tested with the actual physical observation. If there's anything different from what general relativity predicts, theoretical physics could be up for quite the show.

The black hole is 26,000 light years away, making it rather hard to photograph, which is why the team combined radio telescopes from Chile, Spain, Mexico, Arizona in the U.S., two observatories in Hawaii, and one in Antarctica to capture the elusive snap.

Exciting news, definitely, but now we can't get the Muse song out of our heads.

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