New photo of first black hole ever captured is a milestone for science: Einstein was right all along

In 2019, scientists in charge of the project Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) revealed the first image of M87*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy. Now, they have also published. A new photo with post data of the itemA central shadow is seen in the bright ring, confirming Albert Einstein's predictions and general relativity.

In addition to verifying the prediction, this new image also allows us to observe how the ring's brightness peaks. has moved approximately 30° Compared to the first observation, it reaffirms the current theoretical understanding of how matter around black holes varies.

ok with a report Published by EHT, the first observations of M87* were made in 2017 and were processed and revealed to the world two years later. In 2018, it was observed again, but improved methods were developed A completely different film than the first one.

This second result allows us to appreciate, How to publish In the magazine Astronomy & AstrophysicsThis is in M87* A family ring still exists The same size and shadow of the black hole, seen in the first image.

Let's remember that the image taken in 2017 helped study the astrophysics of black holes in a new way. Test the theory of general relativity At a basic level.

Strengthening theory

Regarding black holes, the theory says, they are objects so compact and dense that their gravitational pull is so strong that even light cannot escape their gravity, and they cannot be seen by a distant observer. Creates a dark region in space It is commonly called “Black hole shadow“.

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Image of black hole M87* (left) and right after processing with AI

To achieve these observations, the EHT received several improvements, such as the Greenland Telescope It is allowed to improve the credibility of its image and coverage. In addition, the participation of a large millimeter telescope allowed to improve its sensitivity.

Also, data analyzed in 2018 Present eight modeling techniques and independent images, as well as the methods used for the 2017 analysis and the experience used to observe Sgr A*.

Analyzing the changes in both captures

An image of M87* taken in 2018, according to EHT, looks similar to that of 2017, with the same bright ring, dark central region and One side of the ring is brighter than the other.

However, the hole's mass and distance are not expected to increase significantly over human lifetimes, as general relativity predicts that its ring diameter will. Should remain the same over timeImages from 2017 and 2018 are supported.

Among the differences in the images the bright area around the ring changed, 30° counterclockwise rotation A clock should be located at approximately five o'clock, at the bottom of the ring.

A postdoctoral fellow at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics in Taiwan, Dr. According to Brit Jeter, this is one of the most significant changes between observations. is the change in peak brightness. Although general relativity dictates that the size of the ring should be fairly constant, its brightest part oscillates around a common center.

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Oscillation of this area over time exposes the jetter, allowing it to be used Experimental principles of magnetic field The plasma environment surrounding a black hole.

This isn't the last picture of a black hole we're about to see

EHT also reveals observations from 2017 and 2018 They're not the only ones made in M87*The telescope project carried out successful analyzes in 2021 and 2022, and is expected to do so again in the first half of 2024.

Also, the EHT telescope network is constantly being developed, in addition Newer telescopes, better hardware and observing frequencies The more data, the more data can be analyzed, which will eventually be made available to the public.

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