In 2018, we will see that a black hole for the first time ever

File photo: The Very Large Array to see fountains of hot gas eruption of a beastly black hole at the heart of a large galaxy known to radio astronomers as Hercules A. For millions of billions of kilometers, these rays shoot through space, finally slowing down when they’re at the old gaseous hiccups left behind by this galaxy’s earliest days of star-forming anger. (


We are going to see — for the first time — the event horizon of a black hole, from which a last trace of doubt that Einstein’s interstellar monsters are real. And here is how it will look.

While astronomers have long viewed the consequences of the presence of black holes on the stars and gas clouds around them, nobody has ever actually looked directly into the abyss.

But they hope to soon.

What we expect to see in 2018 is the silhouette of the disk of the supermassive black hole at the heart of our milky way, blazed out against a background of hot plasma is poured over the huge jaws.

Have fun with making new films for a conversation. This is accretion disk and a black hole in the polarized light at different viewing angles…

— Monika Moscibrodzka (@mmosc_m) September 14, 2017

“One of the really nice things about this is a picture of the black hole event horizon is beyond our reach for so long that was a pleasant surprise to build on the existing technologies and capture an image as quickly,” says Monash University astrophysicist Professor Michael Brown. “It is really a addition to the exciting gravitational wave discoveries of the merging black holes and the creation of new black holes.”

The project to capture Sagittarius began in April of this year.

Radio telescopes around the world were synchronized and pointed in the direction of the center of the Milky way. Combined, they brought an Earth-sized telescope capable of incredible resolution over immense distances.

All of the data from each of these radio-telescopes have now been gathered. It is processed to filter out background noise and interference. What was hoped to be left behind is something to see.

What the @ehtelescope expect to find in 2018 – a silhouette in the glow of radiation at the centre of the Milky way. Simulation with 2017 Jansky Fellow Kazunori Akiyama.

— NRAO (@TheNRAO) December 15, 2017



In the heart of every galaxy is a supermassive black hole. It’s all part of the cycle of life and death, on an interstellar scale.

This is 26,000 light years away from us. Swirling around the billions of stars of our milky way galaxy. At its core is a singularity, millions of times heavier than that of the Sun.

This is what gives it such immense gravity that even light cannot escape.

Supermassive black holes are unpredictable beasts. They can lie dormant for centuries before suddenly flaring up as a quasar, drive powerful jets of superheated subatomic particles in the intergalactic space.

It will do this if he devours a nearby star, or pulls in one of the dense clouds of gas and dust that is around. These clouds are blocking the Archer from the view of optical telescopes. But some radio waves can penetrate such obstacles hindered.

Soon@M87 workshop: My simulation of the relativistic jet from the supermassive black hole in the core of the galaxy M87.

— Monika Moscibrodzka (@mmosc_m) 20 May 2016

And the Sagittarius A little windy late.

“Astronomers hoping to catch of our Galaxy, the central black hole in the process of active power in order to better understand how black holes affect the evolution of our Universe and how they shape the development of stars and galaxies,” a statement from the National Radio Astronomy Observatory reads.

That is the reason why the world has combined with radio telescopes in an attempt to peer into the darkness.

“High resolution images of the event horizon can also improve our understanding of how the highly ordered Universe as described by Einstein nets with the messy and chaotic cosmos of quantum mechanics — two systems for describing the physical world that is totally incompatible on the smallest scales,” NRAO says.


The shooting of a black hole is not a point-and-click exercise.

It may be four million times heavier than our Sun. But it is 26,000 light years away from us. Perfectly black. And surrounded by stuff.

This is the reason why the millimetre-scale of the modern radio telescopes is of crucial importance.

“Decades radio-interferometry is done at centimeter wavelengths using telescopes distributed across the continents,” says Professor Brown. “However, if you have the same observations at the millimeter wavelengths than you can produce images with a better resolution and see (in the darkness) the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

“The catch is interferometry at millimeter wavelengths is a much greater challenge than interferometry at centimeter wavelengths.”

This video shows a simulation of a #blackhole as it seems the different frequency/wavelength of the light. Around 1 mm wavelength, the accretion disk becomes transparent and we see the black hole silhouette, which is optimal for EHT observations. Credit: Chi-Kwan Chan

— Event Horizon ‘Scope (@ehtelescope) December 1, 2017

“A nice thing about a millimetre wavelengths in comparison with visible light, it is not strongly influenced by the interstellar dust between us and the center of the milky way,” Professor Brown says. “In principle, the wavelength of the light is so much larger than the dust particles that travel in the past.”

To get the best possible picture, radio telescopes thousands of kilometers apart to be directed along to An Archer to capture what they can at the same time.

Together, their resolution is described as being the equivalent of being able to read the date on the coin in Brisbane with a telescope in Perth.

These data will be refined, compared and entered in a software that is specifically designed for the identification of the supermassive black hole.

What they hope to be seen by the radiation and the huge black disk of Sagittarius A sketch of.

How the black hole shadow appears in polarized light ? It is extremely difficult problem. I describe the details of it in my new paper . The photo shows the theoretical model of black hole shadow #EHT is trying to detect in Stokes I, Q, U and V.

— Monika Moscibrodzka (@mmosc_m) December 11, 2017

“In the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA) projects, which both focused on the capture of the shadow of a black hole event horizon for the first time, researchers began to develop effective image analysis methods using simulation data well before the start of the observations,” NRAO says.

The data were collected in April, and is undergoing processing in the United States and Germany. The last part — the comments of the south pole Telescope — has just delivered after the weather cleared enough to allow for escape.

“Then, calibration data and data-synthesis will start to create an image, if it is possible,” The NRAO said. “This process may take several months to achieve the goal of obtaining the first image of a black hole.

This story was previously published in the

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