Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Black hole | Humanity

How to capture the image of something so massive that the laws of physics prevent the light from escaping? Only mathematics and simulations were able to inform us about the potential appearance of black holes, detectable only through their indirect effects. The impossible became possible after several years of calculations made on the data collected by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) concerning the supermassive black holes Sagittarius A *, located in the center of the Milky Way, and M87 *, located in the center of the galaxy M87. This is certainly not a direct image of M87 *, because it is physically impossible, but it is obtained by examining how space-time is curved around its horizon and how the path of light is deformed. By combining this with the gravitational disturbances and the dynamics of the accretion disk, we obtain this unpublished image. On the photograph, the brilliant ring of the photosphere, maintained by the extreme distortion of space-time, reveals the silhouette of the horizon of the events of the black hole. Located at 55 million light-years, in the heart of a galaxy whose diameter is 120 000 light-years, here is the first image of a celestial object of 6.5 billion solar masses …


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