Published: Thu, April 11, 2019

Why Doesn't The Black Hole Image Look Like The One From Interstellar?

Why Doesn't The Black Hole Image Look Like The One From Interstellar?

Black holes, long theorized about but never photographed, are technically impossible to see because everything - even light - is drawn in by their gravitational pull.

Local researchers were simultaneously sharing the discovery with researchers in Washington, Santiago, Brussels, Shanghai and Tokyo. Each one used a different technique to process the data, ensuring we see an accurate representation of the black hole's event horizon.

"We saw something so true", Doeleman said.

The reconstructed image of the black hole observed by the Event Horizon Telescope at the center of galaxy Messier 87. The event horizon captured in the image is larger than our solar system and lives in a galaxy known as M87, some 55 million light years away from Earth. Will Einstein's model, having held up spectacularly against every test imaginable in Earth's gravitational field, hold up to tests performed in a gravitational field more than two trillion times the mass of our sun?

The first-ever image of a black hole released by astronomers Wednesday has become China's latest viral meme, with many social media users making light of the shadowy celestial object.

"As an astrophysicist, this is a thrilling day for me", said National Science Foundation Director France A. Córdova.

Condom brand Durex got out in front of the meme bandwagon with an advertisement posted to their official Weibo account before Wednesday's big reveal.


"It did bring tears to my eyes", Córdova added. In the optical range, the ring around the black hole would likely appear white, perhaps tinged with blue or red, according to Fox.

As researchers explained, while the black hole itself cannot be seen because no light could escape its gravity, one can see a black hole's shadow produced by the event horizon. Some of the memes were even made by official Twitter accounts of video game companies and games, like the one released on The Division 2 Twitter that compares the black hole picture to a Division agent's watch.

Taken over four days when astronomers had "to have the ideal weather all across the world and literally all the stars had to align", the image helps confirm Einstein's general relativity theory, Dempsey said.

Astrophysicist Dimitrios Psaltis of the University of Arizona, the EHT project scientist, said, "The size and shape of the shadow matches the precise predictions of Einstein's general theory of relativity, increasing our confidence in this century-old theory".

The first image is of a black hole in a galaxy called M87 that is about 53 million light years from Earth.

The project's researchers obtained the first data in April 2017 using radio telescopes in the USA states of Arizona and Hawaii as well as in Mexico, Chile, Spain and Antarctica.

Meanwhile, Kevin Koay is still in ASIAA and actively involved with the activities of the Greenland telescope in the Arctic, a newly constructed telescope which is part of the EHT assembly of land telescopes spread across the world and synchronised with atomic clocks. The global network has essentially created a planet-sized observational dish.

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