This is the first ever photo of a black hole

black hole

(Yong Chuan, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Will Dunham


An international scientific team on Wednesday announced a milestone in astrophysics – the first-ever photo of a black hole – using a global network of telescopes to gain insight into celestial objects with gravitational fields so strong no matter or light can escape.

The research was conducted by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, an international collaboration begun in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole using a global network of Earth-based telescopes. The announcement was made in simultaneous news conferences in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo.

The image reveals the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides about 54 million light years from Earth.

Black holes, phenomenally dense celestial entities, are extraordinarily difficult to observe despite their great mass. A black hole’s event horizon is the point of no return beyond which anything – stars, planets, gas, dust and all forms of electromagnetic radiation – gets swallowed into oblivion.

“This is a huge day in astrophysics,” said US National Science Foundation Director France Córdova. “We’re seeing the unseeable.”

The fact that black holes do not allow light to escape makes viewing them difficult. The scientists look for a ring of light – disrupted matter and radiation circling at tremendous speed at the edge of the event horizon – around a region of darkness representing the actual black hole. This is known as the black hole’s shadow or silhouette.

The project’s researchers obtained the first data in April 2017 using telescopes in the US states of Arizona and Hawaii as well as in Mexico, Chile, Spain and Antarctica. Since then, telescopes in France and Greenland have been added to the global network. The global network of telescopes has essentially created a planet-sized observational dish.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How tech companies compare at protecting your digital rights

The German automotive industry under the Trump spell

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

EU is now giving Google new monopolies to the detriment of European citizens and Internet companies

Writing a greener story in Asia and the Pacific amidst COVID-19 outbreak

Century challenge: inclusion of immigrants in the health system

The G7 adopted dangerous views about Ukraine and Greece

The EU learns about fishing and banking from tiny Iceland

‘Virtual Biopsy’ device detects skin tumours in 15 minutes

Migration and rule of law on next ACP-EU Parliamentary Assembly agenda

Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow

“C’est la vie”? French recession and unemployment to linger in Eurozone

‘Multi-generational tragedy’ in Israel and Palestine demands political will for two-State solution

EU Commission challenges Berlin by proposing breakthrough legislation on banks

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

Asylum seekers in Sri Lanka fear for their safety, in wake of Easter Sunday terror attacks

High level political talks didn’t break the stalemate in Ukraine

There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land

Urgently address ‘defining challenges of our time’, to empower youth worldwide, top UN official tells forum

OECD sees global growth slowing, as Europe weakens and risks persist

Parliaments can be pillars of democracy and defenders of human rights, says UN chief on International Day

Our idea of what makes a company successful needs to change. And it starts with making waste expensive

The EU Commission vies to screen Chinese investment in Europe

Sweden gives all employees time off to be entrepreneurs

CHINA: five letters that could mean…

5 ways to #BeatAirPollution

“Leaked” TTIP document breaks post 8th negotiations round silence and opens door to critics

Bacterial resistance: the significant worldwide problem

Youth2030: UN chief launches bold new strategy for young people ‘to lead’

UN chief welcomes formation of unity government in Madagascar

Will the French let Macron destroy their party political system?

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

With Caribbean island life under threat, UN chief pushes to face ‘headwinds together’

Yemen agreement to end southern power struggle ‘important step’ towards peace: UN Special Envoy

Two peacekeepers killed in an attack against UN convoy in Mali

The UN has a 17-point plan to save the world. So how’s it doing?

Finance for SMEs: Alternative supply mechanisms do exist

Climate emergency: City mayors are ‘world’s first responders’, says UN chief

Anti-vaccination: a private choice leading to collective outcomes

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

Colombia: ‘Terrible trend’ of rights defenders killed, harassed; UN calls for ‘significant effort’ to tackle impunity

Global immunization is having its annual check-up. What can we learn?

5 ways for scientists and clinicians to double up on healthcare

Transparency is key to inclusive employment and government integrity

EC v Samsung: A whole year to compile a case

‘No hope’ global development goals can be achieved without women, says UN Assembly President

EU helps tackle air pollution in Kosovo with €76.4 million

‘Every ventilator becomes like gold’ – a doctor’s stark warning from Italy’s Coronavirus outbreak

Predicting two more years of economic stagnation

The EU Commission to fight unemployment tsunami with a…scoreboard

These Indian fishermen take plastic out of the sea and use it to build roads

This is how attitudes to vaccines compare around the world

Deaf advocate voices importance of sign languages as UN marks first commemoration

Force used against protestors in Gaza ‘wholly disproportionate’ says UN human rights chief

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

Greek-Turkish border: MEPs reject Turkey’s pressure, demand common asylum rules

Who and why want the EU-US trade agreement here and now

Cash-strapped cities must look to private partners

End fossil fuel subsidies, and stop using taxpayers’ money to destroy the world: Guterres

Banning out-of-hours work emails could make some employees more stressed, research finds

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s