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Astronomers tease 'groundbreaking' news


Posted on Tuesday, 2 April, 2019 | Comment icon 15 comments

Are we about to see a photo of a black hole's event horizon ? Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 ESO/M. Kornmesser
A big announcement is expected next week and it is believed to have something to do with black holes.
The news will center around the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) which for several years has been fixated on Sagittarius A* - the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

According to the press release, the announcement will be made on April 10th in Brussels and will be introduced by European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas.

"Due to the importance of this result, we encourage satellite events in the different ESO Member States and beyond," the press release reads.

While it isn't clear exactly what the researchers will be revealing, there has been a lot of speculation that it could be the first ever photograph of a black hole's event horizon.

If this turns out to be the case then the reveal should be very interesting indeed.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (15)

Tags: Black Hole

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by moonman on 2 April, 2019, 18:31
I forgot about that, you are probably right. The sheer coincidence of it pointing at us, the only known life in the universe, is a bit mind boggling. Maybe we should focus our search for other life further down the same line. It points at us, it must be pointing at other planets as well, right back to the source. When it comes down to it, it's either: 1. It points at us because we are here 2. We are here because it points at us 3. It's a complete coincidence that it points at us, crazy as that is
Comment icon #7 Posted by bison on 2 April, 2019, 19:54
Well, crazy coincidences do happen. I doubt that the beam is strong enough to affect us, except in how we react to finally receiving it, via radio astronomy. The center of the galaxy is a valid indicator of where to direct SETI searches; a bearing that any intelligent race might have thought of. It highlights the nearest part of the galaxy which is denser in stars and planets than our current position. After early February, discussion of the mysterious beam seemed to quickly fade away. Perhaps we'll have some more answers on the 10th, which is now only 8 days away.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 2 April, 2019, 23:14
The announcement will be streamed on youtube .  On 10 April 2019, at 15:00 CEST (13:00 UTC, 9:00 EST, 14:00 British Summer Time) the European Commission, European Research Council, and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project will present results they are describing as "groundbreaking".      
Comment icon #9 Posted by qxcontinuum on 3 April, 2019, 2:22
They will announce that we are in the center of a spinning universe spin driven by the black hole.
Comment icon #10 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 3 April, 2019, 8:04
I'm sure it'll be something like stating the obvious, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised
Comment icon #11 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 3 April, 2019, 11:03
Given that the project was set up to make the first direct observation of a black hole event-horizon it would seem to me that the most likely announcement they will make is that they have made the first direct observation of a black hole event-horizon.
Comment icon #12 Posted by bison on 3 April, 2019, 17:22
Making a radio wave image of the gigantic black hole at the center of our galaxy is precisely what the ALMA observatory made possible, when it recently began to work cooperatively with the Event Horizon Telescope system. The detection of the radio beam inferred to be pointing almost directly at Earth was simply an especially noteworthy part of the results.  It can be assumed that the work of the EHT, since the previous announcement, has uncovered something more about Sagittarius A*, as our galaxy's central black hole is known. Further knowledge about the mysterious radio beam would be a logica... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 4 April, 2019, 0:35
Why the hard disks? I get that there must be an enormous quantity of data being received at the 13 observatories, presumable so much that it would make YouTube stutter and ruin online gaming for teenagers with the bandwidth required, but if each observatories computer system can find the time to receive the data and then write it to a hard drive, so that the hard drives can then be sent to the integration facility, why couldn't the observatories use a dedicated network and directly uplink/downlink to the integration site? Maybe that would require a couple of dedicated communication satellites,... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by bison on 4 April, 2019, 1:09
The brief article, linked below, explains about Very Long Baseline Interferometry. The section 'How VLBI works' mentions the common practice of physically transporting the hard disks to the integration site. Some experiments have reportedly been done with direct linkage via fiber-optic cables, but I gather that physical transport is still the usual method used. A very fine degree of time-keeping is necessary when different VLBI files are integrated into one image.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very-long-baseline_interferometry
Comment icon #15 Posted by bison on 5 April, 2019, 2:30
Linked below is an interesting article on what the Event Horizon Telescope announcement may reveal. It even has simulated images of what they expected the real image may look like. The article is from October 2018. It mentions that only 7 observatories are in the EHT system. Either six more have been added in the last six months, or the writer had an old, smaller figure. Interesting that along with all the other knowledge that will be, or may be gained, there is a new, more rigorous than ever test of Relativity  Theory tied up in this image. The extreme conditions around the mega black hole ju... [More]


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