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

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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 private investment can boost education access and quality in the digital economy

Why Nordic nations are the best places to have children

A few, or rather two, trade and economic alliances may rule our brave new world

Banks can fight financial crime. But we can’t do it alone

The MWC14 Sting Special Edition

Infringements: Commission adapts its calculation methodology for financial sanctions

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

Nearly $4 billion needed to protect 41 million children from conflict and disaster

Sacrifice of fallen ‘blue helmet’ to be honoured with UN’s highest peacekeeping award

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

As inequality grows, the UN fights for a fairer world

This new way of understanding disease is changing medicine

Raw materials use to double by 2060 with severe environmental consequences

Engaging world’s youth vital to preventing violent extremism, building sustainable peace, UN official tells Baku Forum

The ECB again takes care of the bankers not the people

Russia’s permafrost is melting and it could have a devastating global effect

EU Youth Goals – we are shapers not listeners

Pride in practice: Equality in access to health services for the LGBT community in a third-world country

EC v Samsung: A whole year to compile a case

A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

Monday’s Daily Brief: human rights in the Near East and a Forum for Refugees

After globalization what? Europe’s long, straining shake-up post Davos wreckage

FROM THE FIELD: Rohingya babies conceived out of ‘incomprehensible brutality’

Should Europe be afraid of the developing world?

Will the three major parties retain control of the new EU Parliament?

Switzerland to favour EU citizens in immigration quotas as the risk of a new referendum looms

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

Siege of Syria’s eastern Ghouta ‘barbaric and medieval’, says UN Commission of Inquiry

Banking Union: ECOFIN and Parliament ready to compromise

Ebola not an international ‘health emergency’ but risks spreading across DR Congo border, warns UN health agency

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

From cheeseburgers to coral reefs, the science of decision-making can change the world

EP Group leaders on Brexit: “the agreement is not open to renegotiation”

Commission pledges €100 million to help Mozambique recover from cyclones Idai and Kenneth

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

Amid Venezuela exodus, UN refugee envoy Angelina Jolie visits camps on Colombian border, appeals for humanity, more support

Two EU Commissioners fire at will against the US

Polluted lungs: health in the center of environment discussion

How to promote Primary Healthcare to the Young Healthcare Workforce?

How well you age depends on what you think of old age

Sponsored content: when QUALITY meets OPEX in manufacturing

‘Urgent need’ to stop Mali violence with ‘effective’ military response: UN expert

May led Britain to chaos, now looks for way out with unpredictable DUP

Address by the President Antonio Tajani at the funeral of Nicole Fontaine

Antitrust: Commission consults stakeholders on guidance for national courts when handling disclosure information

The EU finally seizes the opportunity to support the sharing economy?

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

There are more than 1 billion guns in the world and this is who owns them

Capital markets selloff: The financial moguls send messages to monetary authorities

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

Joint UN-Red Cross appeal to end rising sexual violence as a weapon of war

Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our oceans, and how we can solve them

Economic sentiment and business climate stagnate in miserable euro area

Wolves are back in Switzerland – but not everyone is happy about it

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

Adolescent health has been overlooked for too long

The EU Parliament unanimously rejects Commission’s ideas about ‘seeds’

New UN book club helps children deal with global issues

Innovative urban financing can make our cities stronger

Is Haiti better prepared for disasters, nine years on from the 2010 earthquake?

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