The world is going to hear a major black hole news on Wednesday. Is it going to be an image giving the universe a glimpse of the black hole first look? We will know soon as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project prepares to unveil a major black hole discovery as its first results. Members of the EHT team will address at a press conference today, which can be watched live by the entire world.
The Event Horizon Telescope had been designed for this specific purpose of capturing the image of a black hole.
While photographing the interior of a black hole is not possible, what the world could see is the image of a black hole’s silhouette.
Black hole has long been a subject of human curiosity. While astronomers have been talking about “dark stars” since 1700s, the community eventually speculated that these bright spots were in fact “black holes”, with American physicist John Archibald Wheeler coming out with the term in the mid-1960s.
“More than 50 years ago, scientists saw that there was something very bright at the centre of our galaxy,” AFP quoted Paul McNamara, an astrophysicist at the European Space Agency and an expert on black holes, as saying. He added: “It has a gravitational pull strong enough to make stars orbit around it
very quickly — as fast as 20 years.”
While members of the EHT team have not revealed their findings, with a media advisory from the US National Science Foundation (NSF) describing it as “groundbreaking”, speculations are rife that the project has achieved in its main goal of getting an image of the black hole.
“Instead of constructing a giant telescope — which would collapse under its own weight — we combined several observatories as if they were fragments of a giant mirror,” Michael Bremer, an astronomer at the Institute for Millimetric Radio Astronomy in Grenoble, told AFP.
NSF director France Córdova will be speaking at the press conference to be held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC at 9 am EDT (6.30 pm in India). The media conference will be streamed live on the NSF website.
According to Space.com, EHT project director Sheperd Doeleman, Daniel Marrone of the University of Arizona, Avery Broderick of the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and Sera Markoff of the University of Amsterdam will also be speaking at the press conference.