Astronomers have taken the first ever image of a black hole, which is located in a distant galaxy.
Scientists working on the Event Horizon Telescope team have released the first ever images of a black hole & its shadow. This black hole is at the centre of the Messier 89 galaxy which is located in the Virgo cluster.
This black hole lies 55 light years from earth & is estimated to be 6.5billion times the mass of our own sun.
To capture an image of the event horizon is a near miraculous fete considering that the gravity on the event horizon of the black hole is such that not even light itself can escape.
— Event Horizon 'Scope (@ehtelescope) April 10, 2019
The science world will be going crazy about this news for weeks, months & probably years to come as it seems to confirm predictions made by Albert Einstein in 1915. It was only in 1967 that the term “black hole” was assigned to these regions. The term was put forward by American theoretical physicist John Wheeler to describe these seemingly collapsed regions of space.
So just what is a black hole?
- A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape its gravity
- Despite the name, they are not empty but instead consist of a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area
- There is a region of space beyond the black hole called the event horizon. This is a “point of no return”, beyond which it is impossible to escape the gravitational effects of the black hole
Its inevitable that there will be people that question the validity of this image but in my opinion we are looking at the first ever images of one of the most mysterious phenomena in space.
Before I go, let me add a little “woo” to the mix by quoting Sheperd Doeleman of the Haystack Observatory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who is the EHT’s lead astronomer….
“We are giving humanity its first view of a black hole — a one-way door out of our universe,”
Just what he means by that, i will leave up to you the reader to decide.