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Astrophysicists first showed what a black hole looks like. VIDEO

Astrophysicists have shown the first ever image of the horizon of events - the visible border of a black hole. They managed to “photograph” a black hole in the M87 galaxy in the constellation Virgo; this galaxy is more than 50 million light-years away from Earth.

Press conferences on the first image of the black hole, 10 April, simultaneously began in Belgium, the USA, Japan, Denmark, China, Chile and Taiwan in the framework of the international project “Telescope of the Event Horizon”, writes “Jellyfish".

A black hole is an area with such strong gravity that even objects moving at the speed of light cannot leave it. The possibility of the existence of black holes at the beginning of the 20th century proved the equations of the general theory of relativity by Albert Einstein, although the scientist himself did not believe in this assumption. But in the second half of the 20th century, the theory of black holes gained additional evidence through the use of powerful new telescopes. Now the scientific community has almost no doubt that black holes exist. But because of their great remoteness, no one watched them - scientists merely imagined how they might look.

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The event horizon telescope project was created to observe the supermassive black holes that form the nuclei of most galaxies. Astrophysicists focused on two objects. One of them was the black hole Sagittarius A *, located in the center of the Milky Way. Its mass is four million times the mass of the Sun, and its size is 18 times. The black hole in the M87 galaxy was chosen as the second object to be observed; its mass is six and a half billion times more solar. Even with the most powerful telescope, these black holes are very difficult to see from Earth. Astrophysicist Dimitrios Plastis of the University of Arizona compared this with an attempt to photograph a DVD lying on the lunar surface.

In order to solve the problem, scientists from the project “Telescope of the Event Horizon” combined ten radio telescopes on different continents into one large “virtual telescope” - an interferometer. It allows you to observe an object simultaneously from different points; then the received data is combined and processed. Astrophysicists from the Event Horizon Telescope project monitored two black holes during the week of April 2017. They received about 350 a terabyte of data each day; processing this amount of information took two years.

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