Photo of a black hole will cost Europeans $ 19 million




Astrophysicists believe that in the center of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole, which is four million times that of the Sun. Despite such huge size of this hole, it is impossible to see. However, the situation may change in the near future. European Research Council has allocated 14 million euros (about $ 19.3 million) to support the project BlackHoleCam, whose goal is to prove by radio telescopes and supercomputers existence of one of the most enigmatic astrophysical objects.

The name itself «BlackHoleCam» little misleading. Equipment used by the authors of the project, not able to photograph a black hole. Confirm the existence of an object can detect so-called event horizon (Schwarzschild sphere) – an imaginary sphere, the gravitational forces that hold any kind of radiation and do not give him the opportunity to reach the observer. As the resource, a mysterious substance of the Milky Way will show its event horizon, leaving a “black shadow” on the bright emission of radio waves, which are formed at the time of absorption of gas by the black hole.

Many astrophysicists believe in the existence of black holes, which no one had ever seen. However, existing technologies can get a picture of a black hole and prove its existence to postulate: no event horizon – no black hole – says Heino Falcke of Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands, one of the three leading researchers project BlackHoleCam.

To study the black hole project authors apply the method of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (Very Long Baseline Interferometry, VLBA). This assumes the use of equipment set observatories, including the telescope ALMA in Chile. Radio telescopes will focus on one object and will transmit data at one supercomputer. BlackHoleCam project works closely with the American project Event Horizon Telescope, which also uses a radio interferometer VLBA. Thus, in an attempt to take a picture of a black hole BlackHoleCam turn the Earth into a huge virtual telescope.
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Tags: Milky Way , Telescopes , Black Holes .

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