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What’s All The Fuss About The Black Hole?

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On the morning of 10th April 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration and the National Science Foundation released the first known recorded image of a massive black hole. The BBC described it as “a halo of dust and gas 500 million trillion km from Earth.”


Scientists obtained the image using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the centre of the galaxy. The image showed a bright red ring around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the sun.




They took the image from five petabytes (~5,000,000 gigabytes) worth of data and captured it by a series of radio dishes laid out around Earth. This allowed them to capture continuous data from the black hole while the Earth rotated.


Scientific working

Avery Broderick, astrophysicist and one of the 200 scientists who captured the black hole, said, “We have seen the un-see-able.”

The black hole is a zone in space so gravitationally powerful that, when light falls in it, it can never escape. The final boundary between space and the black hole, which is the point of no return, is the “event horizon”. The image is of a ring of heated gas around the edge of a black hole.




The point captured, according to physicists, is the last possible visible point before it enters a point of no return. Nothing can escape the black hole. Even though it is a black mass that consumes light, the photo made it possible to see the black hole and its location.



Black holes were first predicted by Einstein who was unsure if they really existed. He entailed this in his theory of relativity. Astronomers have since gathered evidence that the sinkholes are out there.



This black hole is “supermassive.” It is also located 54 million light years away at the centre of the galaxy.


Scientists say the hottest, most squeezed and compressed gas lies at the edge of the event horizon. Black holes are a part of the galaxy. According to Einstein’s theory, remnants of dead and collapsed stars will collapse. When they are large and dense enough, they form a dark hole.


MIT graduate Katie Bouman developed the algorithm. The series of algorithms converted tiny pieces of data into the historic picture.


Algorithms, in this context, are a process or set of rules for solving problems. Since no single telescope is powerful enough to capture an image from 500 million trillion km from the earth, a network of eight was set up. It was a technique called interferometry.


Processing centres scattered in hundreds of hard drives in different MIT centres captured the data. Bouman then spearheaded the testing process where they employed multiple algorithms to recover the data.

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