Black hole photo to go where no picture has gone before


Researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope have already confirmed that they can detect these signals.

It's a radio telescope made by linking together radio telescopes all over the planet so we have a telescope nearly the size of the Earth.

They've puzzled star gazers for centuries, but gradually astronomers are learning more about mysterious black holes.Black holes are collapsed giant stars where the gravity is so strong even light doesn't get out.A supermassive black hole, called Sagittarius A, is parked at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way. As Salon has previously explained, imaging a black hole directly is impossible, given that they do not emit light; rather, astronomers aim to capture the matter that swirls around them at incredible speed due to their vast gravity, and which often radiates light.

So all together it's taken a lot of work, effort and time to get to the point where we could do this.

This illustrationmost-distant supermassive black hole ever discovered.

After a black hole forms, it continues to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings.

Because light can not escape the gravitational pull of a black hole, it is virtually impossible to image or photograph one. We don't know yet.

One interesting thing about the supermassive black holes is that tidal forces near them are actually quite small.

"The event horizon" - a.k.a. the point-of-no-return - "is not a physical barrier, you couldn't stand on it", McNamara explained. ESO added: "Due to the importance of this result, we encourage satellite events in the different ESO member states and beyond".

Note this was in the film Interstellar! Despite their regular appearance in science fiction movies and being the centre of fascination for many, black holes have been frustratingly elusive to observe.

Eventually, astronomers speculated that these bright spots were in fact "black holes" - a term coined by American physicist John Archibald Wheeler in the mid-1960s - surrounded by a swirling band of white-hot gas and plasma.

So, right now we are none the wiser as to what the exact announcement will be, but we can be sure that it will go down in the history books. Researchers have also designed computer simulations and models that compute the shape of a black hole's event horizon, which can be tested with the actual physical observation. What are the biggest questions that are still waiting to be answered and that may be in the near future?

"The diameter of a black hole depends on its mass but it is always double what we call the Schwarzschild radius". The vague idea of a black hole - meaning, a singularity so dense and so massive that its escape velocity is greater than the speed of light - was first theorized by English scientist John Michell in the 18th century, and later developed further by Albert Einstein in the 20th century in his General Theory of Relativity.