When mankind entered the road of scientific and technological development, it soon realized the dream of flying to the sky, walked out of the earth and began to explore the universe. For human beings, the universe is a strange and mysterious space, where there are countless stars, planets and other celestial bodies.
The universe is vast, in addition to our more common stars and planets, there are also some special mysterious objects, such as pulsars, neutron stars, black holes, etc., among which black holes are the most special mysterious objects. What is a black hole? Scientists do not know until now that modern science defines a black hole as a super massive object that can devour any matter, including light.
Since black holes are classified as celestial bodies, they must be of different sizes. Scientists divide black holes into three categories. One is primitive black holes. They were formed after the big bang. Most of them are very small, and the ones with lower mass may have disappeared in the universe. Massive black holes are called stellar black holes, that is, some massive stars are formed after supernova explosion at the end of their lives. Their mass is about 5 to 10 solar masses.
The last kind of black hole is supermassive black hole, which is the real overlord of the universe. The mass of this kind of black hole is hundreds of thousands of times more than that of the sun, and some can even reach billions of times more. They often exist in the center of the galaxy, such as the supermassive black hole in the center of the galaxy. How these supermassive black holes were born is still a mystery in the scientific community.
If you want to study and explore black holes, you need to be able to see them first. However, the particularity of black holes makes it an object that cannot be directly observed. Maybe a lot of people will say, how did the black hole photos we often see on the Internet come from? Other pictures of black holes that are basically scientific fantasies and artistic in nature, so what does a real black hole look like?
More than 200 scientists from all over the world began working together 20 years ago to take the first picture of a black hole. They started a field of view telescope (EHT) project for them,. This is a real international cooperation program, with the participation and funding of scientific research institutions from many countries around the world.
What’s the horizon telescope? In fact, the origin of this name is derived from black holes. As we all know, black holes have strong gravity. One of its major characteristics is phagocytosis. As long as any matter enters a certain range of the black hole, it will never escape. The boundary limited by this distance is called the event horizon of the black hole, which is called “event horizon” for short.
When matter crosses this boundary, it will be firmly attracted by the strong gravity of the black hole, and then it will be swallowed by the black hole step by step. Even powerful celestial bodies such as stars cannot escape the fate of being swallowed. It is because of the powerful phagocytic ability of the black hole that we will never be able to take pictures of the interior of the black hole. Unless one day, you can enter the black hole, but once you enter, even if you can take pictures of the black hole, these pictures will never be brought out.
So what we see is not the inside of the black hole, but the black edge of the black hole. What we see is actually the disappearance of light. Even if you want to photograph the edge of the black hole, it is not easy, because the supermassive black hole is too far away from us. The Centaur a * in the center of the galaxy is about 26000 light-years away from the earth, while the black hole in the core of M87 is 54 million light-years away from us.
Although Centaur Centaur A is closer to us, its event horizon is too small. Its size is like an apple placed on the surface of the moon from the earth. What scientists really want to observe is actually the M87 supermassive black hole located 54 million light-years away.
The mass of Centaur a * is about 4.3 million times that of the sun, while the mass of M87 is about 6.5 billion times that of the sun. The gap is too big for us to imagine. Because of this huge gap, M87 is a very bright existence in the universe. Although it is more distant from the earth, it is relatively easier to take pictures of it.
Although this M87 is extremely bright in the universe, it is not possible for any telescope to observe it and take pictures of it. Scientists have joined forces for this. The power of a telescope is limited, but if more large telescopes around the world are connected together, the power will be very huge. Therefore, scientists will be located in the United States, Large telescopes in Spain, Mexico, Chile, even Antarctica, and more are connected to form a super telescope with the diameter of the earth.
Through this super telescope, scientists finally observed the M87 supermassive black hole 54 million light-years away, and took a series of relevant photo data. Through sorting out these data, the EHT project team released the first black hole image in history at 21:00 Beijing time on April 10, 2019.
This is the first photo of a black hole actually taken by human beings. It is not a picture imagined by artists, but a real picture of a supermassive black hole. It seems to be a very simple and fuzzy picture, but it represents extraordinary significance. It verifies many conjectures of scientists, and has a great role in promoting the development of science and technology of human civilization.
The photos released last night are just the first of the images taken by the horizon Telescope project, and more will be released later. This is an important step for human beings to explore black holes. With the rapid development of human science and technology, we will have more advanced telescopes and take more pictures of black holes in the future.
Maybe when the human civilization develops to the point where we can fly faster than light, we can go to the black hole to observe. We even have more advanced technology to go directly into the black hole to uncover the real mystery of the black hole. We believe that human beings will one day be able to uncover the mystery of the black hole and let it serve human beings.
Guys, what do you think of this? Welcome to leave a message below to discuss and express your opinions.