First Image Of Black Hole

fredymac

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An image of a black hole may be revealed next Wednesday by astronomers who collected data during early 2017 by linking radio telescopes across the world. The telescopes were pointed at the black holes located at the centers of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. 2 years of data crunching were needed to combine the telescope signals into a coherent image capable of resolving the event horizon where gas heated by friction emit electromagnetic radiation that can be imaged by radio astronomy.


This is the group that conducted the survey
https://eventhorizontelescope.org/

Background story
http://www.astronomy.com/news/2019/04/the-event-horizon-telescope-may-soon-release-first-ever-black-hole-image
 

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fredymac

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQz1PZ7IhHQ
 

sferrin

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I'm amazed they can decipher anything considering all the crud between us and the center of the galaxy. :eek:
 

fredymac

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That's why you pick electromagnetic wavelengths that penetrate interstellar dust. In the same manner, the JWST will work in IR bands that will let it see details that were shrouded to Hubble.

I wonder if they were successful in processing any data from our own Milky Way. 2200 times closer so should see a lot more detail. Since they didn't say anything about it, I guess they are having a harder time with the data.
 

Grey Havoc

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Obligatory:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNzQ8gYxkIg
 

TomS

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fredymac said:
That's why you pick electromagnetic wavelengths that penetrate interstellar dust. In the same manner, the JWST will work in IR bands that will let it see details that were shrouded to Hubble.

I wonder if they were successful in processing any data from our own Milky Way. 2200 times closer so should see a lot more detail. Since they didn't say anything about it, I guess they are having a harder time with the data.
Sagittarius A* is also about 1/1500 the mass of the M87 central black hole,so they have about the same apparent size accretion disks, so it's probably a wash detail-wise.

It's not clear to me why they decoded the M87 data first, but it's probably a case of having only so much processing capacity and one had to be done first.
 

Michel Van

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Obligatory part two:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yqq7nH1diF4
 

sferrin

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_GVbuddri8
 

starviking

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fredymac said:
I wonder if they were successful in processing any data from our own Milky Way. 2200 times closer so should see a lot more detail. Since they didn't say anything about it, I guess they are having a harder time with the data.
We're embedded in the disc of our galaxy, so we'd have to look through an awful lot of stars and dust to get a picture. Probably impossible.
 

galgot

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Orionblamblam said:
starviking said:
We're embedded in the disc of our galaxy, so we'd have to look through an awful lot of stars and dust to get a picture. Probably impossible.
Prepare to be surprised.

What is this please ? Looks bit like cells division...

EDIT: Never mind , found it :)
 

fredymac

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IR images of Milky Way galactic center showing stars rotating around a black hole (timelapse over years). Originally done many years ago and repeated by other groups. Chandra X-Ray telescope also looked at this area.
 

sferrin

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fredymac said:
IR images of Milky Way galactic center showing stars rotating around a black hole (timelapse over years). Originally done many years ago and repeated by other groups. Chandra X-Ray telescope also looked at this area.
What are those things with the pulsing clouds around them one the left? I'm assuming stars, but why would they show that cloudlike feature?
 

fredymac

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Those look like Airy diffraction rings with a little turbulence modulation. You would see that if you are looking at multiple stars of varying stellar magnitude (brightness). The sensor is set to see the dim stars so the brighter stars start showing the ring pattern. Stars are point sources and if you are looking at a limited wavelength band, the rings will be observable (as long as atmospheric turbulence doesn't blur them out). To resolve the stars at the galactic center, you can either average multiple image frames to additively reduce the affect of turbulence, or use an adaptive optics system. I would guess this montage was using an AO system.
 

TomS

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Turns out there really isn't just one image: they have a series from successive observations.

https://aasnova.org/2019/04/10/first-images-of-a-black-hole-from-the-event-horizon-telescope/

Now, what's confusing me is that the video posted above by Sferrin shows side-by-side images labeling one as SgrA*, but the article I just linked to indicates that they don't yet have images of SgrA*.
 

galgot

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From what I understand the M87 is the first image done from real data collected by Event Horizon. But they did a lot of simulated images from simulated data, and the real one matched almost perfectly the simulation (citing from the press conf…).
That SgrA* image is done from simulated data.
See here :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnsZj9RvhFU

in the first comment of this vid :
Lukas Weih
21 hours ago
As there seems to be some general confusion, please note that the image shown here is a simulated one and not an actual image. So far we only have an image of M87.
Kind regards, the RelAstro group.
 

TomS

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galgot said:
in the first comment of this vid :
Lukas Weih
21 hours ago
As there seems to be some general confusion, please note that the image shown here is a simulated one and not an actual image. So far we only have an image of M87.
Kind regards, the RelAstro group.
Ah, the perils of embedded video (where the comment isn't visible). Thanks for clarifying.
 

Foo Fighter

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Not very impressive to be honest, a bit of a damp squib.
 

galgot

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It's impressive as a scientific and material existence confirmation of what was up to now a math theory.
For sure it's not an hollywood like image of a black hole... We'll have to wait a bit for that .
First ever picts of Mars or Pluto weren't very impressive.
 

Dragon029

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Not to mention this is (as far as I'm aware) an unprecedented antenna setup they've achieved here. Now that they've demonstrated the ability to do this (generate a virtual antenna aperture [resolution-wise, not gain-wise] the size of the entire planet), the door is opened to very high resolution imaging of other stellar objects (at least in the microwave / radio bands; high frequencies might be possible today, or if not they'll just inevitably come later).
 

sienar

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Dragon029 said:
Not to mention this is (as far as I'm aware) an unprecedented antenna setup they've achieved here. Now that they've demonstrated the ability to do this (generate a virtual antenna aperture [resolution-wise, not gain-wise] the size of the entire planet), the door is opened to very high resolution imaging of other stellar objects (at least in the microwave / radio bands; high frequencies might be possible today, or if not they'll just inevitably come later).
Imagine what could be done with a constellation of radio telescopes orbiting say 1.3 AU.
 

Dragon029

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Indeed, the only issue is data transfer; this photo required around 5 petabytes and it was easier for them to physically transport hard drives that transmit via fibre optic, etc. Space telescopes might just need to use laser transmitters and take a little extra time.
 

Hobbes

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Dragon029 said:
Not to mention this is (as far as I'm aware) an unprecedented antenna setup they've achieved here. Now that they've demonstrated the ability to do this (generate a virtual antenna aperture [resolution-wise, not gain-wise] the size of the entire planet), the door is opened to very high resolution imaging of other stellar objects (at least in the microwave / radio bands; high frequencies might be possible today, or if not they'll just inevitably come later).
Coupling radio telescopes like this is not unprecedented, VLBI between telescopes on opposite sides of the Earth has been done for decades now. What's new here seems to be the amount and type of data processing used.
 

Grey Havoc

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On a side note, via Slashdot: https://techcrunch.com/2019/04/11/vcg-black-hole-image/

A follow on story: https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL8N21U03Y / https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL3N21U0O1
 

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In, through, and beyond?
Well something like actually working for space flight, solving space radiation problem, new exotic propulsion. Being able to see is nice, but getting there should be the next goal.

I wish tho the imagery and analysis of whatever being there could give us cues or hint toward possible energy source and maybe propulsion.
 
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