VLBI technology: Scientists are preparing to receive first the black hole



Photo: from open sources

Science news: Several telescopes located in different parts of the globe, are United in the single astronomical instrument to poluchenii the first picture of a black hole

Though a complete picture can be obtained only after a few months, however, synchronized with high precision several of the telescopes has already started to yield results.

In 2013, a group of telescopes included in the telescope Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), was connected to another telescope, a radio telescope Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX), located in Chile. The purpose of this Association were observations of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole lurking at the center of our galaxy.

The connection of the APEX telescope has nearly doubled the distance of the underlying technologies of distributed observations of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI ). And this, in turn, has allowed astronomers to observe the area adjacent to the black hole region of space with high resolution, approaching the event horizon of a black hole. Recall that the event horizon of a black hole is the boundary of point of no return, after which any matter or radiation can not return back into space.

Due to the fact that the matter falling into the black hole, accelerates to nearly the speed of light, it is heated to extremely high temperatures and begins to emit electromagnetic waves in a very wide range, which includes visible light, x-rays, etc. And it is this radiation allows astronomers to detect black hole that is impossible to photograph any of the existing methods

Some black holes grow to truly enormous size, and the hole Sagittarius A*, whose mass is millions of times greater than the mass of the Sun. And how black holes grow to such horrific dimensions, remains a mystery to astronomers to the present day.

Observations of the black hole Sagittarius A*, taken prior to and during 2013, had a resolution that allowed astronomers to consider the space within three Schwarzschild radii. This range, according to current theories, is equal to the radius of the event horizon and the hypothetical size of a black hole. Now do detail shots approaches one the radius and this allows scientists to see what happens near the event horizon.

“We have already seen that matter in the immediate vicinity of a black hole is formed in a ring-shaped structure, which is very well within existing theories” – the researchers write, “But some phenomena do not yet have suitable explanations to these phenomena can be attributed to the nature and composition of the bright spots on the surface of the “doughnut” of matter surrounding a black hole”.

Data collected now telescope the EHT is still not detailed enough for scientists to be able to make any reliable conclusions. However, after the accession to the telescope EHT radio telescope ALMA, what happened in 2017, the image quality will improve so that we will be able to make the first ever direct image of a black hole.