Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)
The US National Science Foundation has scheduled a news conference in April 10, Washington to announce a ‘ground-breaking result from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project,’ an international partnership formed in 2012 to try to directly observe the immediate environment of a black hole.
Simultaneous news conferences are scheduled in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo.
Black hole is an infinitely dense object whose gravity is so strong that nothing can escape its immediate proximity, not even light. As matter spirals into a black hole, it forms a disk that is heated to enormous temperatures, emitting copious quantities of X-rays and Gamma-rays that indicate the presence of the underlying hidden companion. The fact that black holes do not allow light to escape makes viewing them difficult. The scientists will be looking for a ring of light – radiation and matter 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. A black hole’s event horizon, one of the most violent places in the universe, is the point of no return beyond which anything – stars, planets, gas, dust, all forms of electromagnetic radiation including light – gets sucked in irretrievably.
To capture this region, just on the cusp of the black hole itself, astronomers have had to link telescopes from across the globe and focus them on the closest, most massive black holes known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced “A-star”), which resides at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, as well as the even larger supermassive black hole that sits at the center of nearby galaxy M87.
Sag A* has four million times the mass of our sun. It is located 26,000 light-years (or 245 trillion kilometres) away, it’s
like trying to photograph a golf ball on the Moon.
M87 –An elliptical galaxy, 1,500 times more massive even than Sag A*.