Humanity has just seen its first glimpse of a hot, violent, beautiful, fiery doughnut-shaped object: a black hole. The first-ever direct image of a black hole has turned science fiction into science fact.
Supermassive black holes, which some call monsters of the universe, are situated at the center of most galaxies. They are so dense that nothing, not even light, can escape their gravitational pull.
This most recent scientific discovery shows that this black hole, about 6 million times the mass of our sun, is situated in a galaxy called M87 trillions of kilometers away. It presents an ‘event horizon’, which is the point of no return at which light and matter get aspirated inexorably by the hole.
You can thank the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) for this amazing feat, which required global collaboration and eight radio telescope to turn the Earth into one giant telescope. The task was so challenging that the project’s team members had to work for years and collect a huge amount of data without losing hope throughout their journey.
‘We’ve been hunting this for a long time’, Jessica Dempsey, a co-discoverer and deputy director of the East Asian Observatory in Hawaii, said. ‘We’ve been getting closer and closer with better technology.’
Albert Einstein theorised the existence of black holes decades ago. The first photograph of a black hole only confirms Einstein’s theory of relativity.
In a nutshell, Einstein was right, and he would be proud and amazed today that his theories have been proven.
How did Einstein have the ability to foresee the black hole? That is more than clairvoyance to me! But what amazes me more is that the scientific team was not deterred by skepticism and criticism of Einstein’s theory. They managed to collaborate around the world to achieve a spectacular milestone in their research. That’s what happens when teamwork meets hard work!
But there is one question I’m sure everyone has been asking themselves: ‘Will black holes eventually eat the universe?’ You can rest assured that they won’t. Scott Tremaine, an astronomer at the Institute for Advanced Study, confirmed that. So no, we won’t end up in a black hole, unless we choose to go there.