If photographs really do take a little piece of your soul, what happens when you point the camera at a super massive black hole? After this week’s news cycle, I’d bet most of us are willing to find out. On Wednesday, scientists from around the world brought us one step closer to viewing a black hole by coordinating their observations and effectively turning our planet into one giant telescope.
For the next 9 days, they will continue collaborating in an attempt to produce images of the super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy, otherwise known as Sagittarius A*, as part of the project Event Horizon Telescope. We can expect to see results later this year or early 2018 and can move forward from the days of relying on illustrations and theories to get a sense of black holes.
So far, astronomers are fairly certain black holes exist because of the way they manipulate their surroundings and because of the way stars seem to be orbiting a relatively small area of black nothingness, it is believed black holes provide an unimaginably dense center from which nothing can escape. For instance, the black hole at the center of the Milky Way is believed to have a mass 4 million times that of our sun. And at a distance of 26,000 light years, Narayanan compares it to trying to see a grapefruit on the moon’s surface, hence the Earth-sized telescope currently in deployment.
- Originally appeared at cnn.com