It seems like the mystery of black hole is coming to an end. A team of scientist, from different countries, has announced on Wednesday that they have captured first ever photo of the black hole. With release of the photograph through a simultaneous news conferences in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo, it has being claimed as a milestone in astrophysics.
The picture shows black hole at the centre of Messier 87, which is a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. It is calculated that the captured black hole is 54 million light-years from Earth.
In an interview, US National Science Foundation Director, France Córdova told that the first ever picture of the black hole was captured by global network of telescopes, a planet-sized observational dish. With the help of above said apparatus, they were able to get insight into celestial objects with gravitational fields.
Córdova further stated that the study was conducted under the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project. “This is a huge day in astrophysics,” said Córdova. “We’re seeing the unseeable.”
With the help of telescopes in the US states of Arizona and Hawaii as well as in Mexico, Chile, Spain and Antarctica, scientist obtained the first data of EHT project in April 2017. Since then, telescopes in France and Greenland have been added to the global network.
For those who don’t know, the EHT was commenced in 2012 by an international collaboration. The base motive of the project was to directly spectate the environment of black hole. EHT consists of global network of Earth-based telescopes.
Previously, the researchers at the Australian National University (ANU) have spotted a gigantic black hole in the Universe that is noted to be the fastest growing celestial body ever. This black hole is located near about twelve million light-years ahead of the Earth and could be of the size of about twenty billion of Suns. The space scientists have named it as “monster with an appetite” as it possesses a gravity that could eat up a similar mass as that of the Sun in every 2 days.
Dr. Christian Wolf at the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said in a statement, “This black hole is growing so rapidly that it’s shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy.” Wolf further added, “If we had this monster sitting at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. It would appear as an incredibly bright pinpoint star that would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky.”
The study also pointed out that the energy being generated by the gigantic black hole consists of a huge outpour of X-rays. Wolf said, “If this monster was at the center of the Milky Way it would likely make life on Earth impossible with the huge amounts of x-rays emanating from it.”
The team of researchers figured the massive celestial object with the help of the SkyMapper Telescope at the ANU’s Fabled Siding Spring Observatory. The observations of the new research were published in the “Discovery of the most ultra _luminous QSO using Gaia Skymapper and WISE.” The distance of the black hole from our planet was measured with the help of the information received from the Gaia Satellite of the European Space Agency.
The researchers have yet not found out as to how the huge black hole evolved to be so massive and grew up this fast in the previous times of our Universe. Dr. Wolf said, “We don’t know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the Universe.” Further, he added, “These large and rapidly-growing black holes are exceedingly rare, and we have been searching for them with SkyMapper for several months now.”
The researchers would keep on hunting for much faster-growing celestial objects than the one spotted recently. Due to the intense brightness of these black holes, the researchers could use them like celestial placeholders for further studying the evolution of elements in the period after the Big Bang. As said by Wolf, “Fast-growing supermassive black holes also help to clear the fog around them by ionizing gases, which makes the Universe more transparent.”