Event Horizon Telescope will bring black hole into focus


Astronomers built a virtual telescope by linking a large array of radio receivers around the world. The telescope called “Event Horizon Telescope” (EHT) uses a technique called very long baseline array interferometry. The technique combines radio antennas to mimic a telescope aperture that can produce the resolution necessary to bring a black hole’s event into focus.

With EHT astronomers hope to observe the “edge” of the monster black hole, named Sagittarius A*, at the centre of our galaxy. The object has never been directly observed but its existence has been determined by the way its huge gravity affects the orbits of stars that wander close to it. The “edge” of the black hole, called event horizon, known as the “point of no return” since nothing can escape its huge gravitational force, is the spacetime boundary beyond which events cannot affect an outside observer.

The amount of data that scientist will have to analyze requires thousands of hard drives and new algorithms have to be developed to process efficiently all the information the EHT will provide us. Astronomers expect to release a public image by the start of 2018.

Source: BBC