Astronomers have put together an array of telescopes around the world and pointed them to the center of our galaxy, in order to get the best view of our own black hole.
The project is called The Event Horizon Telescope, and it already started running on 4th of April and will run until April 14th, joining the technological capabilities of 8 telescopes around the world, making it the biggest resolution tried for radio telescopes to date.
And since the detail of the image is related to the size of the radio dish, having telescopes behaving like interconnected parts the size of our planet, it is possible astronomers can get enough sensitivity to get the halo of gas around the event horizon of the black hole.
Sagittarius A*, the 4 million solar mass black hole in the center of the milky way, is 26,000 light years away, making this a very needy collaboration, using the whole globe of our home planet to amplify the final resolution of the target.
Like the name implies, it’s the event horizon that will be studied by the radio telescopes, not the black hole itself since no electromagnetic wave, including light, can leave once it goes beyond this horizon.
The black hole of the galaxy M87 will also be targeted, defying the scale of how much data the array of telescopes can get, so the effort is pushed to its maximum extent to help how much can be identified so far in radio wavelengths.
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Unfortunately, much is expected and hyped, probably more than when the final “images” come out to the general public.
And the collected joined work must travel to the Max Planck Institute, where it will be cleaned and worked on for months, astronomers expect.
In the end, it is just a radio to visible light setup, not exactly what our eyes would see if we could ever get close enough, but it is a good start since we have been relying on artists rendition of black holes for decades.
MORE INFO: http://www.eventhorizontelescope.org/