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First image of a black hole
Old 04-10-2019, 10:13 AM   #1
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First image of a black hole

From the National Science Foundation https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_rep...s/formedia.jsp
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The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) -- a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration -- was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. This breakthrough was announced in a series of six papers published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:18 AM   #2
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Yes, that was totally cool! We watched part of the press announcement this morning.

The image was of the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87, not the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy named Sagittarius A*. They are still processing the data for that image.

The image confirmed Einstein's theory of gravity and relativity at the extremes.

New York Times had a very nice article with some awesome videos (subscription may be required if you have used up your monthly article allotment). https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/s...e-picture.html
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #3
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Very cool
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:41 AM   #4
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Very cool. I can’t get enough of the science shows on the universe, like https://www.history.com/shows/the-universe.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #5
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Amazing stuff. thanks for that!
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #6
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The video animation of what it might look like to fly next to the supermassive black hole M87 was way cool. Reminded us of stuff on Star Trek!
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:00 AM   #7
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It's a peek into the next higher dimension. Looks dark.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:11 AM   #8
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A side note: The movie "Interstellar" actually advanced science when its computer generated special effects used real astrophysics math to compute the appearance of black holes in the film. From wikipedia:
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To create the wormhole and a rotating, supermassive black hole (possessing an ergosphere, as opposed to a non-rotating black hole), Thorne collaborated with Franklin and a team of 30 people at Double Negative, providing pages of deeply sourced theoretical equations to the engineers, who then wrote new CGI rendering software based on these equations to create accurate simulations of the gravitational lensing caused by these phenomena. Some individual frames took up to 100 hours to render, totaling 800 terabytes of data.[5] The resulting visual effects provided Thorne with new insight into the gravitational lensing and accretion disks surrounding black holes, resulting in the publication of three scientific papers.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:16 PM   #9
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Pretty amazing. Here is a TED talk by Katie Bowman, an MIT PHD student who led the team that developed the algorithm that sorted the image out of the data..
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Spock View Post
A side note: The movie "Interstellar" actually advanced science when its computer generated special effects used real astrophysics math to compute the appearance of black holes in the film. From wikipedia:
Interstellar was fascinating, though I've read much of it is hypothetical...
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:06 PM   #11
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I first saw The Black Hole in 1979.

A little cheezy, but I loved it as a kid. Not sure why NASA is so excited.
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:01 PM   #12
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:17 PM   #13
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A layman's explanation of the image. He made this video before the image came out and you can see how close his rough rendition was to the real image.


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Old 04-10-2019, 09:31 PM   #14
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That explained the slightly elliptical look of the M87 black hole to me, plus reminded me of the red shift due to light traveling away in the accretion disk.

This has been really awesome. I was an avid follower of astrophysics in my teenage years and early twenties. Read several books about black holes. But until this week I didn’t realize that black holes were at the center of most (all?) galaxies including ours. It makes perfect sense of course, considering the masses involved. But I guess there wasn’t speculation about that a few decades ago. I wonder when that came to be generally accepted?

Sounds like early 2000s.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:21 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
decades ago. I wonder when that came to be generally accepted?

Sounds like early 2000s.

Yes. It came from something called the M-sigma relation. Only a handful of galaxies, including our own Galaxy, have direct evidence of nuclear black holes. However, around 1999 astronomers noticed that the more massive the black hole was, the faster the stars moved around it (in an area called the bulge). So you can look at the bulge stars with a telescope like Hubble and and infer the mass of the black hole at the center of any galaxy.
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:30 PM   #16
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Her is worth watching. She's quite impressive.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:46 PM   #17
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You're right. Very impressive!
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
Yes. It came from something called the M-sigma relation. Only a handful of galaxies, including our own Galaxy, have direct evidence of nuclear black holes. However, around 1999 astronomers noticed that the more massive the black hole was, the faster the stars moved around it (in an area called the bulge). So you can look at the bulge stars with a telescope like Hubble and and infer the mass of the black hole at the center of any galaxy.
Thanks much.

I appreciate that info. Back when I was following stuff most of the discussion was of quasars and new stars being born at the center of galaxies.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:59 PM   #19
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I also missed the detection of gravitational waves in 2017. DH read about it, but didn't mention it. I'm updating my newsfeed preferences.

This is a cool video. We actually drove pretty close by the LIGO near Hanford WA last September and had no idea!!!!

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Old 04-12-2019, 04:04 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
A layman's explanation of the image. He made this video before the image came out and you can see how close his rough rendition was to the real image.


His followup interpretation after the announcement is worth watching too.
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