Supermassive Black Hole Pic Named Science Breakthrough of the Year

Share

They Said It Was Impossible. Then Scientists Took a Photo of a Supermassive Black Hole.

Science, the academic journal, named the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy the top scientific breakthrough of 2019. And for good reason. The thing is, this isn’t just the first image of this specific supermassive black hole, it’s the first image of a black hole. Period. That’s kind of the thing about black holes. They tend to swallow up all of the light around them. In case you weren’t aware, you absolutely need light to get a proper “photograph.” In fact, the word photograph is derived from the Greek roots phot (light) and graph (draw/write). There. Who says you’ll never learn anything on a .porn site?

Anyway, it was thought, therefore, that black holes could not be photographed. Again, no light equals no photo, so what’s a scientist to do? 

An Earth-Sized Telescope

Well, it turns out you use telescopes all around the Earth to capture as many images as possible. This particular project, called the Event Horizon Telescope, actually encompasses a network of telescopes around the globe. Using data from the entire network, they were able to successfully capture the now-famous picture. 

Though scientists like German physicist Karl Schwarzschild could only theorize the existence of black holes for decades, now we have proof. That’s why the picture is being heralded as the breakthrough of the year. Schwarzschild first used Einstein’s theory of relativity to predict the existence of black holes. Building on that work, others like those who finally snapped the shot of the supermassive black hole at the center of Messier 87—a nearby galaxy—began to theorize that if they could catch the silhouettes of light at the event horizon, they might be able to photograph a black hole. However, until now, nobody had successfully done it. Now we have photographic evidence, and that’s a relative knockout punch when it comes to astrophysics. 

Check out this video for more on the picture of the supermassive black hole at the center of Messier 87:

 

Read More:


Like Space Porn? We do, too. We’d love it if you’d support us in bringing you space news and entertainment on a regular basis. You can do that by either buying some merch from our Marketplace or by becoming a patron, which will get you some truly stellar perks.

Brandon Humphreys

Brandon Humphreys

I'm a wizard. I write stuff and it goes from my head into yours - Magic! Apart from that, I am the Senior Editor for Space Porn, a veteran, a rock guitarist, and a teacher.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *