& # 39; The world's first images of a black hole in motion could soon be made by the scientists behind a groundbreaking image of the phenomenon released last week.
Experts who use the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) say they produce a video of hot gases that are chaotic around the shadow or & # 39; accretion disk & # 39; of the black hole.
The super-massive black hole is located in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, about 54 million light-years away from the Earth.
EHT is a & # 39; virtual & # 39; telescope that uses data from observatories around the world to turn the entire earth into one giant detector.
Researchers believe that when more telescopes join the EHT project, they can produce more detailed images and eventually film the black hole.
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& # 39; The world's first images of a black hole in motion could soon be made by the scientists behind a groundbreaking image of the phenomenon released last week (photo). Experts say they produce a video of hot gases that rotate around the black hole chaotically
Experts say it would be relatively easy to make a film of the black hole in M87.
To do this, researchers may have to work seven consecutive weeks to get seven separate frames and then see what has been moved between frames.
& # 39; It appears that with what we have, we are now able, with certain previous assumptions, to look at rotational signatures [evidence of the accretion disk swirling around the event horizon], & # 39; Shep Doeleman, Harvard University astronomer who led the EHT project, told Live Science.
& # 39; And if we had many more stations, then we could really see real-time movies of the accretion and rotation of the black hole.
& # 39; If we want to make a time-lapse movie, we just go out the next day or the following week. & # 39;
How have scientists captured an image of a black hole? As explained in the illustration, the method relies on observing the material swirling around the edges before it falls into the black hole itself. This heats up to extreme temperatures, so that it emits clear light that appears as a ring around the black hole
WHAT DO WE KNOW OF THE GALAXY MESSIER 87?
The elliptical system Messier 87 (M87) is home to several trillion stars, a super-heavy black hole and a family of around 15,000 spherical star clusters.
For comparison, our Milky Way Galaxy contains only a few hundred billion stars and about 150 spherical star clusters.
The monstrous M87 is the dominant member of the neighboring Virgo cluster of galaxies, which contains around 2,000 galaxies.
Discovered in 1781 by Charles Messier, this galaxy is 54 million light years away from the Earth in the constellation Virgo.
It can easily be observed using a small telescope, with the most spectacular views available in May.
The elliptical system Messier 87 (M87) is home to several trillion stars, a super-heavy black hole and a family of around 15,000 spherical star clusters. This Hubble image is a combination of individual observations in visible and infrared light
The most striking features of M87 are the blue ray near the center and the numerous star-like spherical star clusters scattered throughout the image.
The jet is a black-hole driven material stream that is thrown out of the M87 core.
As gaseous material collects from the center of the galaxy on the black hole, the energy released produces a stream of subatomic particles that are accelerated to speeds near the speed of light.
In the middle of the Virgo cluster, M87 may have collected some of its many spherical star clusters by gravitating them from nearby dwarf galaxies that today seem to be devoid of such clusters.
The team is also looking at Sagittarius A * (SagA *), the super-heavy black hole in the center of our own galaxy.
Scientists said last week at the unveiling of the M87 image that they intend to release the first image of that much closer object soon.
But EHT researchers say that this project will be more complicated because SagA * is about 1000 times less heavy than the black hole M87.
This means that the image changes 1000 times faster & # 39;in minutes or hours & # 39 ;.
& # 39; You have to develop a fundamentally different algorithm because it looks like you have the lens cap on your camera and something is moving while you take a picture, & # 39; Mr. Douleman added.
Pictured from left to right: Event Horizon Telescope Director Sheperd Doeleman, National Science Foundation Director France Cordova, University of Arizona Associate professor Astronomy Dan Marrone, University of Waterloo Associate professor Avery Broderick and University of Amsterdam Professor of Theoretical High Energy Astrophysics Sera Markoff
WHAT IS THE SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE SAGITTARIUS A *
The Galactic center of the Milky Way is dominated by one resident, the super-heavy black hole known as Sagittarius A * (Sgr A *).
Supermassive black holes are incredibly dense areas in the center of galaxies with masses that can be billions of times that of the sun.
They act as intense sources of gravity that sweat dust and gas around them.
The evidence of a black hole in the center of our galaxy was first presented by physicist Karl Jansky in 1931 when he discovered radio waves from the region.
Sgr A *, pre-eminently invisible, has the mass corresponding to around four million suns.
At just 26,000 light years from Earth, Sgr A * is one of the few black holes in the universe where we can actually see the flow of matter in the neighborhood.
Less than one percent of the material that initially falls within the black hole's gravitational influence reaches the event horizon, or point of no return, because much of it is ejected.
Consequently, the X-ray emission of material near Sgr A * is remarkably weak, like that of most of the giant black holes in galaxies in the nearby universe.
The captured material must lose heat and momentum before it can dive into the black hole. Ejecting matter causes this loss to occur.
To make images of it, the EHT would have to collect all the data needed to produce an image of the black hole.
It would therefore have to divide that data into different parts over time.
The team would then compare the pieces of data with each other using advanced algorithms to see how the image has changed.
This approach uses models of how the image would move as expected, by comparing those models with the actual data to see if they fit.
& # 39; You need to be smart and figure out how data from this time block is immediately related to that time slice & # 39 ;, Doeleman said.
Using this method, the team can even convert very limited amounts of data from every minute to full images of SagA * in motion.
As a result, the team expects to make films from the smaller black hole in one night.
While black holes are naturally invisible, the ultra-hot material that revolves around them forms a ring of light around the circumference that exposes the mouth of the object itself based on its silhouette. This limit is known as the event horizon. A simulation of the black hole is shown next to the above image that makes history
HOW DOES THE HORIZON TELESCOPE OF THE EVENT WORK?
Using a & # 39; virtual telescope & # 39; who has built eight radio observatories in different places on the globe, the team behind the Event Horizon Telescope has scanned in recent years for Sagittarius A *, the super heavy black hole in the heart of the Milky Way and another target in the Virgo cluster of galaxies.
The observations are based on a network of radio antennas at a great distance.
These are all over the world – in the South Pole, Hawaii, Europe and America.
These radios imitate the aperture of a telescope that can produce the resolution needed to capture Sagittarius A.
At each of the radio stations there are large hard disks that will store the data.
These hard drives are then processed at the MIT Haystack Observatory just outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
The effort is essentially to capture a silhouette of a black hole, also called the shadow of the black hole.
This would be & # 39; its dark form on a clear background of light from surrounding matter, distorted by a strong curvature of space time & # 39 ;, the ETH team explains.