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Event Horizon Telescope (489 views - Astronomy & Astrology)

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a project to create a large telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes and combining data from several very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) stations around the Earth. The aim is to observe the immediate environment of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way, as well as the even larger black hole in the center of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87, with angular resolution comparable to the black hole's event horizon.The first image of the black hole inside galaxy Messier 87 was published on April 10, 2019. The black hole was given the name Pōwehi, meaning "embellished dark source of unending creation" in Hawaiian.
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Event Horizon Telescope

Event Horizon Telescope

Event Horizon Telescope

Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (ESO/O. Furtak).

Event Horizon Telescope
Websitewww.eventhorizontelescope.org
TelescopesAtacama Large Millimeter Array
Atacama Pathfinder Experiment
Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telescope
IRAM 30m telescope
James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
Large Millimeter Telescope
South Pole Telescope
Submillimeter Array 
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The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a project to create a large telescope array consisting of a global network of radio telescopes and combining data from several very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) stations around the Earth. The aim is to observe the immediate environment of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* at the center of the Milky Way, as well as the even larger black hole in the center of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87, with angular resolution comparable to the black hole's event horizon.[1]

The first image of the black hole inside galaxy Messier 87 was published on April 10, 2019.[2] The black hole was given the name Pōwehi, meaning "embellished dark source of unending creation" in Hawaiian.[3]

Overview

The EHT is composed of many radio observatories or radio telescope facilities around the world to produce a high-sensitivity, high-angular-resolution telescope. Through the technique of very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI), many independent radio antennas separated by hundreds or thousands of miles can be used in concert to create a virtual telescope with an effective diameter of the entire planet.[4] The effort includes development and deployment of submillimeter dual polarization receivers, highly stable frequency standards to enable very-long-baseline interferometry at 230–450 GHz, higher-bandwidth VLBI backends and recorders, as well as commissioning of new submillimeter VLBI sites.[5]

Each year since its first data capture in 2006, the EHT array has moved to add more observatories to its global network of radio telescopes. The first image of the Milky Way's supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, was expected to be produced in April 2017,[6][7] but because the South Pole Telescope is closed during winter (April to October), the data shipment delayed the processing to December 2017 when the shipment arrived.[8]

Data collected on hard drives are transported by airplane (a so-called sneakernet) from the various telescopes to the MIT Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts, USA, and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany, where the data are cross-correlated and analyzed on a grid computer made from about 800 CPUs all connected through a 40 Gbit/s network.[9]

Scientific results

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration announced its first results in simultaneous press conferences worldwide on April 10, 2019.[13] The announcement featured the first-ever direct image of a black hole, which showed the supermassive black hole at the center of Messier 87, provisionally designated M87*.[11] The scientific results were presented in a series of six papers published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.[14] Katie Bouman, an American computer scientist who was a graduate when she began work on the project, delivered a TED Talk on using algorithms to put together pictures from data.[15]

The image provided a test for Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity under extreme conditions.[4][7] Studies have previously tested general relativity by looking at the motions of stars and gas clouds near the edge of a black hole. However, an image of a black hole brings observations even closer to the event horizon.[16] Relativity predicts a dark shadow-like region, caused by gravitational bending and capture of light, which matches the observed image. The published paper states: "Overall, the observed image is consistent with expectations for the shadow of a spinning Kerr black hole as predicted by general relativity."[17] Paul T.P. Ho, EHT Board member, said: "Once we were sure we had imaged the shadow, we could compare our observations to extensive computer models that include the physics of warped space, superheated matter, and strong magnetic fields. Many of the features of the observed image match our theoretical understanding surprisingly well."[14]

The image also provided new measurements for the mass and diameter of M87*. EHT measured the black hole's mass to be approximately 6.5 billion solar masses and measured the diameter of its event horizon to be approximately 40 billion km, roughly 2.5 times smaller than the shadow that it casts, seen at the center of the image.[14][16] From the asymmetry in the ring, EHT inferred that the matter on the brighter south side of the disk is moving towards Earth, the observer. This is based on theory that approaching matter appears brighter because of a relativistic light beaming effect. Previous observations of the black hole's jet showed that the black hole's spin axis is inclined at an angle of 17° relative to the observer's line of sight. From these two observations, EHT concluded the black hole spins clockwise, as seen from Earth.[18]

Contributing institutions

Some contributing institutions are:[19][20]

  1. ^
    • Falcke, Heino; Melia, Fulvio; Agol, Eric (January 1, 2000). "Viewing the Shadow of the Black Hole at the Galactic Center". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 528: L13–L16. doi:10.1086/312423 – via NASA ADS.
    • Bromley, Benjamin C.; Melia, Fulvio; Liu, Siming (July 1, 2001). "Polarimetric Imaging of the Massive Black Hole at the Galactic Center". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 555: L83–L86. doi:10.1086/322862 – via NASA ADS.
    • "Main project website". Archived from the original on September 1, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
    • Overbye, Dennis (8 June 2015). "Black Hole Hunters". NASA. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
    • Overbye, Dennis; Corum, Jonathan; Drakeford, Jason (8 June 2015). "Video: Peering Into a Black Hole". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 9 June 2015.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Chan, Tracy (10 April 2019). "Hawaii Telescopes Helped Capture the First Image of a Black Hole—and It Has a Hawaiian Name". Hawaii Magazine. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b O'Neill, Ian (2 July 2015). "Event Horizon Telescope Will Probe Spacetime's Mysteries". Discovery News. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  5. ^ "MIT Haystack Observatory: Astronomy Wideband VLBI Millimeter Wavelength". www.haystack.mit.edu.
  6. ^ Webb, Jonathan (8 January 2016). "Event horizon snapshot due in 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  7. ^ a b Davide Castelvecchi (23 March 2017). "How to hunt for a black hole with a telescope the size of Earth". Nature. 543 (7646): 478–480. Bibcode:2017Natur.543..478C. doi:10.1038/543478a. PMID 28332538. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  8. ^ "EHT Status Update, December 15 2017". eventhorizontelescope.org. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
  9. ^ Mearian, Lucas (18 August 2015). "Massive telescope array aims for black hole, gets gusher of data". Computerworld. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  10. ^ Overbye, Dennis (April 10, 2019). "Black Hole Picture Revealed for the First Time - Astronomers at last have captured an image of the darkest entities in the cosmos - Comments". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  11. ^ a b The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (April 10, 2019). "First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 87 (1). Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  12. ^ Landau, Elizabeth (April 10, 2019). "Black Hole Image Makes History". NASA. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  13. ^ "Media Advisory: First Results from the Event Horizon Telescope to be Presented on April 10th". Event Horizon Telescope. 1 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole". European Southern Observatory. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Earth Sees First Image Of A Black Hole". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  16. ^ a b Lisa Grossman, Emily Conover (10 April 2019). "The first picture of a black hole opens a new era of astrophysics". Science News. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  17. ^ Jake Parks (10 April 2019). "The nature of M87: EHT's look at a supermassive black hole". Astronomy. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  18. ^ Susanna Kohler (10 April 2019). "First Images of a Black Hole from the Event Horizon Telescope". AAS Nova. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  19. ^ "Affiliated Institutes". eventhorizontelescope.org. Retrieved 2019-04-10.
  20. ^ Funding Support

Further reading



This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Event Horizon Telescope", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. There is a list of all authors in Wikipedia

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