We already wrote about a new scientific achievement in the article “Einstein would be shocked! Here is the first picture of a black hole! ”. Yes, scientists really managed to get an amazing photo of the cosmic monster. However, not everyone was impressed.
While researchers are enthusiastically considering the first shot of a black hole, skeptics and rather disappointed observers are on social networks. You can find comments like
“And is it a black hole? I just see some kind of muddy spot! "," Pf, think ... And so it takes millions of dollars? ”or“ Well, yes, they are again trying to shock us with something like muddy shots of a Loch Ness monster. No specifics! ”.
Yes, the Internet is now a real hotbed of skepticism. If we talk about science, it is even useful, as it makes scientists constantly doubt discoveries and move on to get to the truth. However, in a particular case, we really had a reason to rejoice at the first shot of a black hole. Why? And what is the “muddy spot” in the photo?
To begin with, it is impossible to theoretically photograph the black hole itself. These are truly invisible space objects that absorb everything but are not shown in any of the observed ranges. Yes, and monitor their activity is obtained only if they are fed, affecting the environment of its gravity. It is this effect that astronomers usually fix.
On the left: an image of the M87 center taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Right: a more approximate image obtained by the Telescope event horizon (a combined network of several telescopes)
What do we see in the photo? The first picture of a black hole shows the famous event horizon. This is a specific feature, point, or area located outside the outer edges of the black hole. It is enough matter or light to cross this line and they will not be able to free themselves.
So the photo shows the shadow of the horizon of events of a giant black hole in the galaxy M87, as well as the light created by the absorbed material. Why is it important?
First, because black holes have long remained a theoretical phenomenon. It was possible to observe only their influence on neighboring objects. Now we really see a black hole (well, or part of it in the form of an event horizon).
Secondly, black holes appeared in Albert Einstein's equations and were the result of the development of the general theory of relativity. But the existence of black holes is closely related to how true our ideas about the theory of gravity are. So, we see a real black hole, which means scientists can confirm certain scientific theories.
Thirdly, this is a huge plus in technological development. Obtaining photos of the black hole event horizon is like capturing a DVD on the lunar surface from Earth. The picture shows the process of feeding this invisible monster.
In fact, we are close to an important point, which is almost impossible to step over. Scientists believe that no technological innovations in theory will make it possible to cross the horizon of events and look at a black hole or find out what is inside it.
However, once everyone was convinced that a person would not be able to fly in the sky, go to space or visit other cosmic bodies. But every year we overcome barriers. So let's hope that the first photo of the black hole will be an incentive to move on and reveal the secrets of the universe. In the meantime, just congratulate yourself on a new scientific victory.