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Scientists Are About to Turn on a Telescope That Will Photograph a Black Hole's Event Horizon

Despite of a long research and observations on the Black holes, it is a fact that no one has ever been able to actually photograph any Black hole, making them the most mesmerizing objects in the known universe. Black holes are so massive that they permanently devour everything that crosses them, even the light and that is the reason why it is impossible to photograph them. The Event Horizon Telescope, the new device comprised of a network of radio receivers located across the planet, including at the South Pole, in the US, Chile, and the French Alps.

The network of receivers will collect the radio waves emitted by a particular object in space. In order to take a picture of black hole the black hole, researchers will be focusing on radio waves with a wavelength of 1.3 mm (230 GHz), which gives them the best chance of penetrating through any clouds of gas and dust hindering the black hole. 

The resolution of the telescope should be 50 micro arc seconds to avoid the disturbance created by so many antennae tuned in a single spot. To put that into viewpoint, this network can easily see a grapefruit on the surface of the Moon. The very first target of this telescope will be the huge black hole at the center of our galaxy, called Sagittarius A*.

We've never directly witnessed Sagittarius A*, but researchers know it exists because of the way it impacts the orbit of nearby stars. Based on the movement of these stars, researchers calculated that the black hole is likely about 4 million times more massive than our Sun. At a distance of around 26,000 light-years away from Earth, that makes it a very small objective.

But the Event Horizon Telescope will target to detect the immediate environment around the black hole, and it should be able to get sufficient resolution to see the black hole itself.

Project leader Sheperd Doeleman from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics told Jonathan Amos at the BBC this week said: “There's great excitement. In April we're going to make the observations that we think have the first real chance of bringing a black hole's event horizon into focus."

The researchers predict the black hole will look like bright ring of light. This is going to be very excited and I will keep you updated about this.

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