In April 2017, eight radio telescopes focused on two black holes located in different areas, as researchers wanted to learn more about the elusive objects.
This project is known as the Event Horizon Telescope, and the results of the research were quite impressive. In April 2019, researchers announced that EHT managed to combine the power of the eight telescopes remarkably.
The first discoveries related to black holes tool place in 1700, and a significant amount of data was collected since then, but many of their traits remain fascinating and unexplainable. Half a century ago, a team of researchers observed bright objects in the center of the Milky Way.
The objects exerted a massive gravitational pull, strong enough to force nearby stars to orbit around them at an accelerated pace. Further research revealed that they were black holes, a term which was coined by an American researcher called John Archibald.
The Difficult Task of Photographing Black Holes
It is now known that a supermassive black hole resides in the center of our galaxy. Classified as Sagittarius A*, the fascinating object has a mass that is four million times bigger than that of the Sun while it has a length of 44 million kilometers across. It may seem to be significant, but since the telescope array is situated at a distance of 26,000 light-years away, some difficulties surface.
The other black hole observed by the researchers is a giant one, being up to 1,500 times bigger than Sagittarius A. This black hole can be found in an elliptical galaxy called M87. It is also far away from Earth and as hard to spot as the other ones.
By collecting and fusing the data gathered by ETH, the researchers managed to assemble an image of the supermassive black hole found in the M87 galaxy. The project will continue in the future as the team plans to capture more vistas.