By Adelle Engmann
Science experts have confirmed the existence of a phenomenon once said to be fictional. Earlier this month, the first real image of a black hole was confirmed, and has sparked conversation among scientists and researchers all over the world.
The image, captured by researchers at Harvard University’s Event Horizon Telescope, is said to be 55 million light years from Earth with a mass 6.5 billion times more than the sun. The discovery is considered a breakthrough as no confirming image of a black hole previously existed.
It took a decade of work by astronomers and scientists to capture the black hole image. Telescopes were connected all over the world, and the data from six of them – located in Antarctica, Chile, Mexico, Hawaii, Arizona, and Spain – is what was used to formulate the picture.
The image technically shows the horizon of the black hole, a place where, according to scientists working on the project, nothing can escape – not even light. What viewers see in the picture is actually like a 3D flashlight, where all of the gas and dust attracted to the black hole are illuminated.
EHT Director Shep Doeleman said this is just the beginning. With this image and information already known about black holes, researchers can continue to unravel some of the universe’s most intriguing mysteries.
Photo courtesy of Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al.
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