Watch the ‘black hole photo reveal’ live here

NOTE: See update below for the reveal.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project is unveiling a major black hole discovery Wednesday morning (April 10), and you can watch the event live.

We live in the golden (or maybe platinum) age of astronomy. At 9 a.m. EDT today, the group of astronomers who run the global network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope are expected to unveil the first-ever images of a black hole.

The EHT, a global effort to capture the first-ever photo of a black hole’s immediate environment, by looking for radiation from the event horizon surrounding a black hole. They will announce first results during a press conference Wednesday at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT). You can watch it live from the National Science Foundation:

Of course, this is still speculation as EHT team members haven’t revealed what the result is, but an NSF media advisory described it as “groundbreaking.”

So it’s not outlandish to speculate that the project may have succeeded in its goal, and that we may be treated to a spectacular image of a black hole’s silhouette.

I think it is worth watching either way.

UPDATE: Here it is. Inside object M87, some 55 million light years away.


The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. This breakthrough was announced in a series of six papers published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun.

Press release:

https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=298276

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162 thoughts on “Watch the ‘black hole photo reveal’ live here

    • so a black hole actually looks like an out of focus doughnut , OK, I’ll buy that. Could we use it for carbon capture? Need some more money?

  1. Black Holes, of course, have gravitational fields so powerful that light cannot get out.
    Ages ago when the concept was first being reviewed, I had a tee-shirt.
    Maybe from “Space and Telescope” magazine.
    “Black Holes Are Out Of Sight”
    They still are.

    • I agree. Cosmology has become as corrupt as climate science. Or should I say climate science became as corrupt as cosmology since the corruption of cosmology started with the General Theory of Relativity.

      • My prediction is, we are going to start “seeing” 100’s of pictures of other black holes. Since 1 black hole is supposed to be at the centre of every galaxy, there should be many black holes closer than 55 million light years away since there are many galaxies closer than that. Wiki lists 143 that are closer than 12 million light years away.

        • The problem with this is that the closer the galaxy the harder it is to see the black hole that does not emit light. You have to get really really really far away to see a black hole. For some odd reason… I am sure a cosmologist can explain it! Sure.

          • You also have to have the correct geometry. If the arms of a galaxy are between you and the hole, you won’t be able to discern the disc. Of course all they have done on this image is clearly image the disc of collapsing matter.

    • The NZ university Professor who solved some the equations involved with Black Hole Theory in the early 60s was able to watch the ‘live reveal’

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12221370

      ‘Kerr is an eminent mathematician known internationally for discovering the Kerr Vacuum, an exact solution to the Einstein field equation of general relativity.

      Awarded the British Royal Society’s Hughes Medal in 1984 and the Rutherford Medal from the New Zealand Royal Society in 1993, he was also made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011, and was awarded the 2013 Albert Einstein medal by the Albert Einstein Society in Switzerland.

  2. “unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.”

    Is it still “visual” evidence, even though they are using radio telescopes?

        • You have 12 orders of magnitude there, and there is not end to either end of the spectrum. Where do you get your 2% from?

          • At what frequency / wavelength does the spectrum end in that calculation ( both directions please ).

          • “. . . and there is not end to either end of the spectrum.”

            I’ve occasionally wondered about this. Would there–at least theoretically– be a maximal EM radiation having a fundamental half-wavelength the size of the universe (“visible” and/or inflationary if I understand the arguments for this distinction correctly). And, at the “other side,” is the minimum wavelength determined by the Planck distance?

            Surprisingly, to me at least, I’ve never heard any discussion about the EM spectrum ever ever address this issue.

            I know I am somewhat late to see and comment on this discussion, but I would very much appreciate any clarification.

          • Right, Robert –

            the lower limit is Planck distance, the upper limit is halve the universe’s diameter.
            _______________________________________________________________________

            The real extensions are either found in the laboratory, with experimental physics + mathematics – other we will never know.

          • Thanks so much. Johann. I very much appreciate the response.

            I am still thinking that the upper limit is twice the universe’s diameter. Much like a rope with each end fixed and the remainder vibrating “up and down” with no nodes (i.e., the midpoint having maximal amplitude).
            What do you think?

            Are you aware of any published discussion of this matter?

          • Wal Thornhill: Black Hole or Plasmoid? | Space News

            In this interview recorded on April 8, 2019, physicist Wal Thornhill discusses why the recent so-called “first picture of a black hole” actually affirms the plasma cosmology hypothesis that the object at a galactic core is not a black hole at all but an ultra-high density energy storage phenomena called a Plasmoid.

    • Is it still visual evidence if it no longer exists? We are observing the object within M87 as it existed right at the end of the Paleocene, a time when small mammals just started to flourish on Earth.

  3. Two of the telescopes making up the EHT are in Hawaii on top of Mauna Kea: The James Clerk Maxwell telescope and the Sub Millimeter Array.

    • To me, it strongly resembles an Einstein Ring lensing effect. I wonder how much of the brightness in the “Ring” is from background Radio Band EM being bent around it rather than material caught by it and being ripped apart.

  4. This is mind blowing. Ever since first reading about black holes in junior high in the late 80s, I wondered if I’d ever get to “see” one.

    Knowing that black patch represents light not coming back at all is simply astounding. There’s something there, but the only way to know is because that bright ring of matter is framing it just so.

    Quite amazing!

  5. So it isn’t a picture of Sagittarius A* but of M-87. The previous post seem to imply Sagittarius A*. A picture of Sagittarius A* is in the works, apparently.

    Jim

    • “So it isn’t a picture of Sagittarius A* but of M-87. The previous post seem to imply Sagittarius A*.”

      In that last article I went to the link to find out which black hole they were talking about and it said the Milky Way. I’m pretty sure I read that right. I posted about it in the previous article.

    • Black holes spin. The accretion disk for this galaxy appears to be almost perfectly normal to our telescopes. If they looked at Sagittarius A they would not see a disk, but just a line, as we are not normal to the center of our galaxy. “Normal” also means “at right angle.”

      • It’s Sagittarius A* or Sagittarius A-Star. Sagittarius A is the larger region that contains Sagittarius A*.

        I’m not sure. Our solar system is in the plane of the galactic disk. I assume Sagittarius A* is also rotating in the same fashion. We would be looking roughly at the “side” of the black hole in that case.

        Jim

      • There might not be an accretion disk at all for Sgr A*. It is in a quiescent (abnormally low luminosity) state. In astrophysical terms, it is about 100 million times less luminous for its size than M87. There may not be enough background luminosity for it to show as a shadow. Not to mention that the pictures don’t confirm the existence of an event horizon, which is the thing that makes a black hole a black hole and not just some other exotic form or matter. There are competing models of these compact objects that are just as compact for their mass and just as dark. They might be distinguished by their magnetic fields. Astronomers still have a ways to go in sorting this out, but the picture of M87 is still a great achievement.

  6. Superb astrophysics science. As big a breakthrough as LIGO gravity waves.
    And we are seeing breakthroughs in other basic science areas. Effective immunotherpies for cancer (Keytruda saved Jimmy Carter from metastatic melanoma). GMO salmon. Maybe soon LIC energy storage (wrote about that in the Fisker article).

    • Yes, great strides. I think these are still mysteries;

      The math for Quantum Inertia has been offered, and it seems to accurately account for the effects of Dark Matter. But the math doesn’t ‘prove’ that QI is real.

      The recent supernova AT2018cow is between 10 and 100 times more energetic than a supernova should be according the math.

      Theories that try to explain that star (Przybylski’s Star) that contains huge amounts of plutonium and other elements not found in nature can’t be helped by the math used in describing nucleosynthesis.

    • “Yeah but what does it sound like?”

      I don’t know what a Black Hole sounds like but when two Black Holes merge it sounds like a phone ringtone. Computer generated, of course. 🙂

  7. We can now test John Wheeler’s proposition that ‘black holes have no hair’. Let’s have a good look.

  8. a photo that actually is something like out of the old movie The Black Hole.

    This is not a picture of a black hole, it’s a picture of something, its interpreted as a black hole. Every blurry furry creature in a photo was bigfoot to bigfoot researchers too.

    To assert you know what is in that photo, based on only actual evidence you have, the photo, is laughable.

    I dont call that “superb astrophysics” because that object and/event can never be called anything else but a black hole, no other idea is even considered #scienceNot

    The reaction to this photo is akin to the celebration at Cern when they claimed to have found the HB, even though it doesn’t allegedly survive long enough to be detected in the first place.
    A signal that could have come from software, hardware or something else, but we’ll never know cos we can not re run the experiment, yet the whole place celebrated, not one skeptical voice..

    The same here, not a jot of skepticism and it actually being called a black hole.. wow!

    Science is in a pickle because of this immense amount of hackery and back slapping kudos hunting

    Someone mentioned LIGO, they did not detect gravitational waves, they interpreted their data as such.

    I’m off to dig up Newton et al and reanimate them

    • The difference here is that the measurements they took of the entity that they captured in these images match exactly that which is predicted by Einstein’s equations, which predict something never before encountered. A pretty good indication that this is what they think it is.

    • Eh, when you open your eyes Mark, your retinas do not detect photons, your brain interprets the data as such. You and I would not doubt that interpretation for one moment but does this mean that the only requirement for cognition is familiarity?

    • I believe that healthy skepticism is important. Not being an astrophysicist, and not even coming close to being able to understand their six papers published in the special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, I can’t really have an educated opinion. To me the picture is not convincing. Looks like so many other photos form space.

      To tell you the truth, the way this was announced last week, coupled with the complete lack of any skepticism from experts and the language used (e.g. “forged through international collaboration”) really makes me question the claim.

    • I think if Mark had been alive when Newton published his “Principia,” he would have objected to that as well. Some people don’t like change or new things.

      Jim

    • The LIGO results, as I understand it, are at least intriguing to the extent that they seem to confirm specific predictions from “Einstein based” gravity theory. Here are a couple of nice little YouTube videos from the fall of 2017 about the advanced level of corroboration that they think they have, on just where the gravitational waves are coming from:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNfZ5qk_Pk8

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRsRd4zH46U

      Now, as for the “picture of a black hole”, I’m not sure myself that that is as significant.

      I mean, it kind of looks like the proverbial painting of a “black bear in a coal mine”, don’t you think, ; ) !

  9. Am I the only one who saw that it was in “M87” and for a brief moment thought they read “M78”? (answer: probably). Nebula M78 while belonging to the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex in real life, was the home of Ultraman in the classic 1960s Japanese TV series.

    • From the caption:
      “The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun. “

  10. I am a fan of this kind of endeavour. I like the almost impossible nature of what is being attempted, yet people still work hard at doing it.
    The question I would have asked if I had been in the press release room would be. Why if the object is three D are we able to have a view in two D that allows us a look at the shadow, through what would be the glowing event horizon.
    Maybe I am missing some understanding of the science of black holes. Why is the ring photographed as a ring and only a ring, when it must be a sphere in actuality?.

    • It is almost like this is a cut plane of a 3d model. I was wondering that too. Maybe it is currently eating a nearby star; its luminosity ripped into an orbital disk.

    • It is a ring because the galaxy it is in the center of is a large, flat spiral with almost all the mass orbiting around it in a single plane. We see it as a ring because M87 is almost completely face on to us. This is one of the reasons this particular black hole was chosen.

      • The black hole itself will bend all the light around it into this disk so that it looks like it is facing us. Essentially, any light within 2.6 radius of the black hole will be curved around into a disk facing us. Everything within 2.6 radius will not show up.

        There was a paper in 1986 that ran through all the calculations and said it would look just like this radio wave false colour image.

        So, the M87 black hole is about one-quarter of the size of the central dark region from the photo and it is actually about the size of our solar system. Sagittarius A at the centre of our galaxy would be slightly larger than our Sun, so M87 is one of the biggest black holes in the universe.

        • Here is a video from yesterday which will show what is is going on. It takes awhile to get to ehe answer so you have to watch it until the end. It will make sense afterward.

  11. Black holes is a theory concocted from numbers that don’t add up , it is even worse than the Ptolemy solar system of crystal spheres holding the stars up on the sky but the cosmologists – they see a black hole under every rock
    Homer see a donut

    • “numbers that don’t add up”
      You need to show your work here. Where exactly is the flaw in Einstein’s theory of space-time?

      • Length, breadth, and width are the 3 dimensions of space. Time is a 4th dimension but it cannot coexist with the other dimensions because it isn’t in the same units. Time cannot be added to lengths. Einstein is also asking us to believe that you can bend space which consists of nothing. How can you bend something which doesnt exist? And don’t forget his math allowed the existence of wormholes.

          • It’ s hard to sound like an Einstein “demolishing” genius with an Aussie accent.

            If you don’t have anything more than high-school geometry as an argument you end up sounding like Monty Python’s Aussie philosophers.

            ” … and Bruce, here, is in charge of the sheep dip. “

          • All Crothers has demolished is any semblance of credibility, and he did that a long time ago. I will discuss this topic no longer if that’s all you have to offer. Sheep dip indeed.

          • As a kind of empirical debunking of some of the things that Crothers says in the video referenced, I would offer the following link, https://www.physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae433.cfm, with the key paragraph there stating that:
            “In October 1971, Hafele and Keating flew cesium-beam atomic clocks, initially synchronized with the atomic clock at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., around the world both eastward and westward. After each flight, they compared the time on the clocks in the aircraft to the time on the clock at the Observatory. Their experimental data agreed within error to the predicted effects of time dilation. Of course, the effects were quite small since the planes were flying nowhere near the speed of light. ”

            Now. bearing in mind that the above described verification of Einstein’s Special Relativity no doubt takes into account Einstein’s concept of synchronized systems of time keeping, plus* also* being no doubt based on Lorentz transformation as a basic principle, try to make sense then , of Crowther’s statements! The claim that he is making (both on a visual slide about 36 minutes into the video, as well as spoken by Crowther) is to say that “Einstein’s Clock Synchronization is Inconsistent With the Lorentz Transformation” – ?

            As an ‘aside’ here, I note that I’ve read interesting things before, about alternative ways to look at or reassess Special Relativity. It is a matter of history, for instance, that Lorentz himself challenged what is usually called “Lorentz Invariance”, suggesting in discussions with Einstein that there might be a privileged “luminiferous ether-like special motion framework after all! In a similar spirit, later on, in 1959, the American physicist Tangherlini did his doctoral thesis on an advanced refinement of Lorentz’s “privileged framework” idea. In Tangherlini’s way of doing things, the whole concept of time dilation is handled somewhat differently compared to Einstein’s original treatment. Apparently, some people see practical benefits from this, such as making experimental results like the times recorded by atomic clocks on airplanes more intuitive to understand.

            Now having mentioned that there might be a “clock tracking” benefit to such an “alternative” to Einstein, I had better cut right to the chase by also mentioning the well known fact that in particle accelerators particles travelling near the speed of light tend to “live longer” than a stationary particle (owing to the effect of relativistic time dilation). The advantage of Dr. Tangherlini’s approach to accounting for timings, is that if one wants, one can easily take the Earth as such to be a “privileged” system (at least approximately for some short period of time), while at the same time, we could look at an accelerated particle as “truly moving”. One then gets to regard time as being really “stretched out” or dilated for the moving particle in the accelerator. It is then intuitive to say that the particle would live longer or not decay so quickly, as being a truly fast moving object *under those particular assumptions*. In contrast, it is actually more difficult, in strictly “Einstein” terms, to visualize why the particle lives longer, since in Einstein’s original thesis, time is never really regarded as “stretched”. In “original” Einstein theory, everything has to be accounted for as being due to the particle going through different clock synchronizations as it whips around a circle (i.e., it is just conceptually more difficult, if you really want to do things the original “authentic Einstein” way). So it seems there *is* something to be said for certain alternative ways of developing relativity theory, and maybe this is what Crowther was reaching for in his video?

            In any case, there is quite a difference between looking at clock synchronizations a *different way*, versus taking the Crowther approach of saying that “Clock Synchronization is Inconsistent” in Einstein’s theories! I am reminded of the time that someone told me that rocket motors obviously couldn’t work, since a rocket motor could obviously never throw enough stuff backward to make a huge spacecraft accelerate forward! In Crowther’s view, it seems that you can never really synchronize anyone’s clocks, since well, you just *can’t*, that’s why! I mean, back in 1971, someone really should have told Hafele and Keating that they were wasting their time trying to synchronize their atomic clocks? After all, Crowther’s view of Einstein’s work says that synchronizing is impossible?

          • >>
            Speed = distance/time.

            Perhaps you mean vector of light?
            <<

            No. You multiply a speed by time, and you get a length or distance. A vector simply adds a direction–which isn’t needed in this case.

            Jim

          • Time is an emergent linear property of motion.
            Space is described using a three coordinate system, X,Y,Z.
            Motion is a change from point A to point B within that coordinate system.
            Time is used to describe the rate of change of location within spacial coordinates using finely tuned oscillators to derive units.
            Einstein linked time to motion.

            As much as I like Einstein, space time is a really clumsy descriptor.

      • Paul Penrose
        April 10, 2019 at 9:36 am

        Where exactly is the flaw in Einstein’s theory of space-time?
        ————————
        Just saying.

        The “flaw in Einstein’s theory of space-time”, could exactly be shown when proving by “direct evidence” that
        the absence of “space-time”
        not only can be, but has being achieved by such “evidence”, by means of space time detection and
        by the aid of space time instrumental sensors within the parameters and environment of space-time soup models running basically in the means of Newtonian space-time backbone physics.

        How does this sounds for a space-time paradox??!!!

        cheers

  12. We are so small. Does anything we do really matter? Certainly puts climate change in perspective.

  13. Quite interesting stuff. I was waiting for them to tell us it will be on a collision course with Earth unless we stop using fossil fuels!

    I saw this quote in the Guardian. ” At the event horizon, light is bent in a perfect loop around the black hole, meaning if you stood there you would be able to see the back of your own head.”

    I remember something similar after a long night of partying in my younger days 🙂

  14. A first glimpse of a black hole accreation disk – stupendous science! This event is no longer on the horizon: “I see you!”

  15. Funny how much this photo reminds me of the first photograph of individual atoms. A fuzzy blob of artificially colored light. Not sure how this will advance our knowledge of black holes but, congratulations.

  16. Interesting that M87’s SM black hole was the target. I’d guess that’s because of its huge size (and big accretion disk) and that M87 has little gas & dust hiding its center.

  17. Next up is a time travel project to back and show Einstein the photo along with the plot of gravitational wave detection.

  18. Since for every action there is a reaction, consider a photon being subjected to acceleration due to a gravitational force. Since it cannot exceed the speed of light, the reaction would be that the photon would increase in energy. This would possibly cause a “brightening” as the photon approached the event horizon.

      • When a photon (light) passes through a transparent medium such as air, water, or glass, it slows down. That’s what causes light to refract. When it passes out of such mediums it speeds up. Mathematically, you could call that acceleration.

        A photon leaving a large gravitational field would lose energy. That loss is reflected as a red shift. Photons lose energy trying to escape from large masses.

        Jim

  19. I never doubted the existence of black holes, and this surely looks like the effects that one would create. By definition you CAN’T photograph (at any spectrum) a black hole, only the stuff being impacted around it.

    BUT. I have always rejected the idea of a singularity. Until they come up with tests to determine a black hole is or is not a singularity, its just confirming that black holes exist, but not their structure (if any).

    For example, one characteristic of a black hole is angular momentum, but a singularity can’t have angular momentum, therefore it can’t be a singularity. We eventually will be able to explain how matter is compressed into some type of exotic structure that is not a point – until then everything past (or perhaps just on) the event horizon is just guesswork and calling it a singularity is the same as saying “we have no idea”.

    Now THAT (the structure of) will be interesting.

    • >>
      BUT. I have always rejected the idea of a singularity.
      <<

      One way to look at it is that it takes an infinite amount of time to form a black hole singularity because of time dilation. So from our viewpoint, no singularity has yet formed. And from the viewpoint of matter falling into the black hole, the black hole will evaporate (due to Hawking radiation) long before it reaches the actual singularity.

      Jim

  20. “In order to reconstruct the brightness distribution of an observed source, VLBI requires cross-correlation between the individual signals recorded independently at each station, brought to a common time reference using local atomic clocks paired with the Global Positioning System (GPS) for coarse synchronization. The resulting complex correlation coefficients need to be calibrated for residual clock and phase errors, and then scaled to physical flux density units using time-dependent and station-specific sensitivity estimates. Once this process is completed, further analysis in the image domain can refine the calibration using model-dependent self-calibration techniques”
    https://cdn.iopscience.com/images/2041-8205/875/1/L3/Full/apjlab0c57f3_lr.jpg
    “At the calibration stage, instrumental and environmental gain systematics are estimated and removed from the data so that a smaller and simpler data product can be used for source model fitting at a downstream analysis stage.”
    “The correlation coefficient may vary with both time and frequency. For FX correlators, signals from each antenna are first taken to the frequency domain using temporal Fourier transforms on short segments (F), and then pair-wise correlated (X). The expectation values in Equation (1) are calculated by averaging over time–frequency volumes”

    In short this is not an image of a black hole but an assemblage of complex mathematical calculations obtained from electronic signal processing, put together to give a time aggregated ‘electro-mathematical visualization diagram’ of what that particular part of Galaxy might look like.
    p.s I abandoned using FT number of decades ago, since you get out far more than you bargain for.

    • “an assemblage of complex mathematical calculations obtained from electronic signal processing”
      That would be an accurate description of a digital photograph, CAT scan, or an electron microscope image. I’m not saying that just because all those things are considered “real” images that this black hole image must also be real, but it does leave your criticism sounding hollow. I think a healthy skeptical attitude would be to accept it as “real” for now, but keep an open mind about it and be willing to evaluate new data as it becomes available.

      • As far as the ‘Grand Scientific Pronouncements’ are concerned my favourite one goes something like this:
        “When a hen has just laid an ordinary egg she cackles as if she has laid an asteroid” -MT

        • Mark Twain was a brilliant satirist, and had a wickedly sharp sense of humor, but I wouldn’t necessarily live my life by his “philosophy”. Nor would I let it guide my scientific explorations. Quoting him at a party does make one sound clever though.

          • Well, yes and no.
            I suppose it might have saved us from the black holes cognitive dissonance , if your relative (?) Roger spent more time doodling with his triangles and have not bothered with the dying stars gravitational collapse calculations and the sanity challenging singularities, with Hawking might have been the city’s financial wiz kid, but it wasn’t to be.

  21. A [visual] model inferred from signals of assumed/asserted fidelity is the foundation of modern science. It is “consistent with”, in a universal frame of reference, perhaps. I would leave it to philosophy, and at least wait until we approach the edge of our solar system, in order to observe, replicate, and deduce in proximity to the objects of our affection.

  22. Here is a short video, published just yesterday, which explains generally how the image was made.
    Of interest is the 1960’s manually ray traced drawing of a black hole which is strikingly similar to the image produced by the EHT.

    • Well they can’t “fix” global warming if they think reducing CO2 with change anything. When they get beyond that obsession, they may at least start to understand a little more.

      Now you just run along and go polish your Nobel “Peace” Prize.

      Oh what, you don’t have one any more. How did that happen?

      • Mann only got the “piece” prize since he had to share it with hundreds of other people.

  23. So what is this image actually supposed to represent. Clearly it is not the light coming from a black hole since by definition, there is none.

    I could possibly accept that it is the light of two stars behind a black being distorted by gravitational lensing.

    • Apparently that is the radiation given off by matter and energy that is swirling around the event horizon faster and faster as it is all swallowed by the black hole.

  24. So refreshing to see scientists and engineers doing actual technology development and discovery.

    These images brought tears to my eyes.

  25. from the press release: resolution “… enough to read a newspaper in New York from a sidewalk café in Paris.”

    Yeah right , if you can look around corners.

    • Dont forget about the curvature either.
      BUT
      As the Airline Flies, it is 3623 miles from NY NY (WTC) to Paris (Louvre) so you could be at 3623 miles altitude and not be concerned with corners or curvature issues.

      • I was accounting for curvature, exactly my point. They specifically said “from a sidewalk café in Paris.”

        Maybe they should have stuck to converting to football fields.

    • “Yeah right , if you can look around corners.”

      with a femto second camera you can see around corners

      • so I guess they meant:

        “… enough to read a newspaper in New York from a sidewalk café in Paris…. with a femto second camera ”.

        silly of me not have realised that.

        • No what they meant was pretty clear.
          Only someone on the spectrum would try to literalize the metaphorical expression.

          In other places they expressed the extreme resolution by saying “seeing a golfball on the moon”

          I suppose your response would be there are no golfballs on the moon.

          the PURPOSE of the comparison “reading a paper from X distance” or seeing a golfball on the moon, is Not to be technically or literally accurate, but rather to express to the laymen
          the extreme nature of the resolution required.

          They could have just presented the trig required to be literally accurate, but then 99.9% of the readers would not get the basic MEANING. the basic meaning is “extreme precision”
          spot a golfball on the moon type precision, read a paper in NYC from paris type precision.

          These analogies are not intended to be literally accurate. the ONLY people who read them
          literally are.

          1. people INTENT on disagreeing.
          2. mental defectives who are on the spectrum who dont get figurative language.
          ( akin to the the earth is 6000 years old types..because genesis is a literal story)

          • >>
            I suppose your response would be there are no golfballs on the moon.
            <<

            I believe Apollo 14 astronaut Alan Shepard left one golf ball on the moon.

            Jim

  26. May be we misunderstand cosmos and spiral rotating galaxies
    https://www3.amherst.edu/~gsgreenstein/progs/animations/spiral_galaxy/
    Now, let’s take a look closer to home at the solar Parker spiral
    https://media.giphy.com/media/n7MFmJMFVP3vq/giphy.gif
    Two animations look remarkably similar, but we know that the Parker spiral is created by the sun throwing stuff out and not absorbing it.
    May be we got s.c. ‘black holes’ wrong way around, perhaps they are just 0 deg K ‘black lumps’ remnants of a previous dead universe giving a birth to ours. Hmm…. no BB, that would be too radical to demolish both, the BB and BHs, killing two birds with one stone./sarc

    • The spiral galaxy “animation” is a model. Note how the model makes the centre rotate much faster than the outside. A big problem with the gravity model is that this is not what happens in most spiral galaxies. The outside turns at about the same angular velocity.

      They then start doing all sorts of arbitrary ad hoc juggling with large and improbably placed loads of mass .

      This kind of fudging is usually a pretty sure indication you going down the wrong path and instead of frigging the model you need to rethink it.

      • as far as I understand the image
        https://4k4oijnpiu3l4c3h-zippykid.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/1st-pic-black-hole.png
        is just one of many (perhaps the thousands) produced by the super-computers from the ‘processed’ radio-telescopes data, and chosen as the nearest approximation to what a hypothetical black hole calculations suggest.
        If so, I think the science team concerned should publish an on line album of the alternative images produced; total transparency is required.

        • Your understanding is incorrect. Think of taking a digital image and randomly displaying pixels slowly, interpolating the missing pixels. At first you wouldn’t know what the image was, but as more and more pixels are added, it would slowly resolve into something recognizable. This is basically what they did, so looking at the intermediate images wouldn’t tell you anything more than the final image; actually less.

          • “interpolating the missing pixels”
            So it appears is yours too.
            Imaging process (not that I understood most of it) is described in detail here
            https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab0e85/meta
            these are visual representations of data
            https://cdn.iopscience.com/images/2041-8205/875/1/L4/Full/apjlab0e85f18_lr.jpg
            “We then reconstructed images from all M87 and synthetic data sets using all possible parameter combinations on a coarse grid in the space of these parameters. We chose large ranges for each parameter, deliberately including values that we expected to produce poor reconstructions.”
            “In Figure 10, we test whether or not our parameter selection procedure leads to reconstructed images that are unduly similar to the training set. In this test, we repeat the parameter selection process after withholding a specified geometric source model from the training set. For example, in Figure 10, the parameter combinations used to produce the images of the disk model were determined by selecting the best-performing parameters on only the ring, crescent, and double. Despite excluding the disk from the training set, all three pipelines produce an image with a disk morphology that does not resemble any of the other images in the training set.”
            etc, etc.

          • What you quoted there is a technical discussion of the interpolation algorithms. It was not a simple matter since each telescope had different properties (size, receiver sensitivity, etc.), so combining them was complex. I haven’t dug into their methodology, so I don’t know how accurate it is in reconstructing the actual image, but from my experience (as a Software/Firmware Engineer of 35+ years) I realize that advanced image processing algorithms are pretty much PFM to most people. So I suppose a certain level of extra skepticism is to be expected. I just think it’s interesting that they don’t have that same level of skepticism about CAT scans or self-driving cars which are nearly on the same level of complexity.

  27. The representation and accompanying explanation of why it is represented the way it is are no surprise to me as they confirm a suspicion of mine formulated without the knowledge of similar by others that “black holes” and “dark matter” are essentially the same thing on vastly different scales (of energy and apparent size) where the only force that matters is gravity and the only thing that exists in the “hole” is information contained by the objects rendered massless as they seem to pass through the “hole”.

    I suspect is an excellent representation of the most basic, ubiquitous form of matter in the universe.

    Imagine a doughnut twisting into itself so wildly that it looks like a doughnut no matter which way you view it. Half of it seems to be twisting away from you with half twisting towards you. The hold is always in direct view. This “doughnut” is an object because it is not information.

  28. Why is this phenomenom named a ‘black hole’ ; the black I can understand but ‘hole’ just seems to lead to confusions such as passing thru’or entering the same. In fact these objects (if they are such) are surely the antithesis of a hole, being matter of such great density and mass that even light cannot escape its gravitational pull

  29. Looks like a Torus. It may be a Plasmoid.

    From Wikipedia.

    The word plasmoid was coined in 1956 by Winston H. Bostick (1916-1991) to mean a “plasma-magnetic entity”:[8]

    The plasma is emitted not as an amorphous blob, but in the form of a torus. We shall take the liberty of calling this toroidal structure a plasmoid, a word which means plasma-magnetic entity. The word plasmoid will be employed as a generic term for all plasma-magnetic entities.

  30. Why are the columnar high energy projections which span hundreds of thousands of light years and appear to be entering , and/ or leaving the “Black Hole” only (visible ? observable ? detectable ? ) when viewed from a point perpendicular to these streams ? Why do the streams not dissipate , or disperse in all directions ? Given all else equal , does a “Black Hole ” “appear” the same from all possible angles of observation ? If these high energy projections are confined by “magnetic fields ” , what else besides electric fields , or moving charges(Plasma) could cause, or maintain these magnetic fields ? Recently, by a somewhat similar process , the reconstructed image of our Sun’s North and South pole were for the first time visualized . Does anyone know why our Sun’s North and South poles have never been directly imaged ? ie a probe orbiting from above ?

  31. I think it’s fair to call this black hole image fake. I believe it was based on real sensor data of a real supermassive object, but the representation of the data is so deceptive as to qualify as fake. The problem is that I don’t think black holes appear black from a distance. Astronomers have stated that black holes are surrounded all around by plasma falling in, and not just in the accretion disk. I don’t think you can see the black through the bright glowing exterior. It may be that in the wavelength used to gather this data, some of the matter farther from the middle is hotter, but the middle should be glowing in the image as well. It looks like they just turned down the brightness like they do to make sunspots appear dark, even though sunspots are actually glowing quite brightly. But then if they had published a picture of the black hole that looked like a normal star, just with a little brighter outer ring, then it wouldn’t be black, or look like a hole. People would just look perplexed and say, nothing to see here, move along. But I don’t think that is any excuse to be deceptive about it.

  32. In the future this period of history will be known as era of fake discoveries , The fake bozon , fake gravitational waves detection, fake gravitational lensing , now fake black hole picture . All nothing but computer

    generated models and animations , presented by very small groups of insiders inaccessible to outsiders unverifiable and undebunk-able
    for the time being

  33. Hmmm….. I thought a “black hole” would look like any other star, but dimmer, and with an accretion disk and polar jets.

  34. Consider this video by the European Southern Observatory Organization at 13min36sec https://youtu.be/omz77qrDjsU?t=816

    Notice the accretion disk is thicker than the black hole, covering it from all angles, and is glowing. And notice the graphic at 13min55sec showing the photons all round going in all directions. They then point out how the light passing close is bent, but they don’t mention that the light emitted by the plasma in a direction straight away from the hole, from well outside the event horizon, will go straight away to the observer, or maybe nearly so. It might be dimmer than the bunch of light that comes around the edge, but it should still be visible, not black.

    Did I miss something in your link that said the only visible radiation was from the accretion disk?

  35. man I would hate to see what commenters say about pictures from Armstrong landing on the moon.

  36. A few points need to be repeatedly made.
    Einstein never liked Schwarzschild’s solution implying a mathematical singularity. His famous water sphere argument is pure genius.
    There are massive dense objects apparently at the “center” of every galaxy, proporional to the galaxy mass – no one knows how or why.
    Our galactic central object is amazingly quiet, no “accretion disk” – orbits of 27 stars about it are directly observed. But huge perpendicular 50,000lyr jets (gamma spectrum) seem to sprout there.
    Hawking’s 2014 paper shows there are no black holes, at most chaotic “ephemeral” horizons – this leans towards Einstein’s argument that no change would be possible if time actually stopped, but from the QM world. A kind of QM convergence with General Relativity.
    Hawking also dismissed the famous “firewall” argument in that paper, and the idea of a radiating horizon.

    • And another thing – even Kip Thorne got the image of the black hole in the famous movie Interstellar, Gargantua, wrong. There should me massive redshifting of any photons near the horizon.
      Not sure if gravitational redshifting is accounted for by EHT, but maybe the mm range is already a seriously redshifted image.

    • M87 is not a spiral like ours, rather an elliptical. The wiki has lots of stuff as well as the EHT results.

      • I am reading multiple sources which state that:
        in elliptical galaxies, there is 0 Net Spin Angular Momentum. They do not rotate.
        If so, where would the spin of an accretion disc (Kerr solution) come from? How do you shoehorn a rotating Black Hole into a non-rotating galaxy?

        • If elliptical galaxies are formed from collisions with spiral galaxies, then the next question should be: “where does the spin come from in spiral galaxies?”

          Also, a spinning black hole drags the space that is near it around too. I believe all rotating masses do that–it’s called frame dragging.

          The accretion disk would then be confined to the original rotation of the black hole.

          If the planets formed from the Solar accretion disk, then it becomes a problem for astronomers to explain the axial tilt or obliquity of the planets. The Sun’s obliquity is more than 7 degrees. That, too, needs an explanation–why isn’t it zero?

          The obliquity of other stars to their planetary systems can sometime be determined. It’s usually near zero–like the Sun–but not always.

          Jim

          • Thanks for your use of the word ‘if’. It is critically important to remember.

            With the advent of this new radio telescope technology, Black Hole (I prefer the term Dark Star) cosmology will make the much needed transition from mathematical speculation to observational speculation. I am looking forward to the frequent use of the word ‘unexpectedly’ with regard to new observations, much as with the Hubble and the Chandra telescopes, as we try to reconcile observations with theory. Especially when optical, x-ray, and radio observations present conflicts and paradoxes.

      • Galactic center “black hole” masses are only a small fraction of the total mass. Our case is 4 million solar masses v. 300 billion. M87 is some such ratio maybe 6 billion v. 600 billion – worth checking.
        So applying Kepler’s laws is very questionable at galactic scales. Solar system ratios are like 98% sun v. 2% planetary, totally opposite.
        It’s likely that this maths lurch produced the need for “dark matter” to explain rotation curves.
        Interestingly EHT did not look at our local center because of dust. Yet we know exactly the mass from 27 orbiting stars , and no accretion disk, very quiet. Our recently observed 50,000lyr jets are another story. So no super hot spinning disk, yet massive gamma active jets? Will EHT go there or not?

  37. No accretion disk or no disk easily visible from this distance? It might be dim on a cosmic scale, but maybe still appear bright if you were up close. Both of the released pictures show something glowing around the hole, at least at that frequency. I think that glow has to be pretty bright to be observable at all at this distance. The question is whether the hole is actually as dark as their image makes it appear.

  38. From the M87* Wiki :
    Observations suggest that the black hole may be displaced from the galactic center by about seven parsecs (23 light-years).[75] The displacement is in the opposite direction of the one-sided jet, which may indicate that the black hole was accelerated away by the jet.

    Now that is one huge relativistic rocket motor. Imagine a 6 billion solar mass object accelerated by a plasma jet it itself generates! The Einstein field equations must be daunting – has anyone tried a solution for such a spacetime?

    Singularities are el-cheapo solutions.

  39. Here’s a quote from from a youtube comment about Sagiittarius A* by an astronomer from the Northolt Branch Observatories:

    “Daniel Bamberger
    20 hours ago
    @mwk Given its temperature (millions of degrees), its spectrum in the visible range is almost flat, and so the visible light it emits is basically white (very bright white). The part moving towards us (the brighter part in the image) will be blue-shifted, but because of the very flat spectrum, it will not look bluer, just brighter.
    So, TL;DR: It is white.”

    Though to be fair, it is possible he is only talking about the color of a thin accretion disk, and the hole is still black, but I don’t think so.

    I also found out on Wikipedia that the reason Sagittarius A* is not seen from earth in the visible spectrum is because it is obscured by much dust and such. I guess the stars seen orbiting it are outside the dust cloud, or are they also only detected in more penetrating wavelengths?

    Also, Veritasium has admitted that the supposed image of Sagittarius A* is apparently not actually an image at all, but a simulation.

    • >>
      I guess the stars seen orbiting it are outside the dust cloud, or are they also only detected in more penetrating wavelengths?
      <<

      Those stars are detected using infrared spectroscopy (https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1086/430667).

      The star labelled S2 has a semi-major axis of 970 au. It has an orbital period of roughly 16 years (30% longer than Jupiter’s orbit around the Sun), but gets no closer to Sgr A* than 120 au (about four times the orbital distance of Neptune from the Sun)–so S2 is really moving.

      Jim

  40. What is the confidence level?
    Is that really a black hole?
    Is it a photo or a computer generated image?
    I’m skeptical. For good reasons.

  41. Strangelove Paradox

    The Strangelove Paradox is that we are all inside a black hole but we are not spaghettified. This crazy paradox is easy to prove mathematically. The event horizon of a black hole is the point of no return. If you fall inside the event horizon, you can no longer escape the black hole. The extreme tidal forces between your head and feet will stretch your body like spaghetti. Hence the name spaghettification. The event horizon is defined by the Schwarzschild radius (R):
    R = 2 G M/c^2
    Where: G is gravitational constant, M is mass of body, c is speed of light

    Any massive body when compressed into a volume smaller than its Schwarzschild radius will turn into a black hole. For instance, to turn Earth into a black hole, you have to compress it into a small ball 0.88 cm in radius. What if you want to turn the observable universe into a black hole, how small do you have to compress it? The mass of ordinary matter plus dark matter in the observable universe is M = 1.1 E+54 kg
    R = 2 G M/c^2 = 1.64 E+27 m
    This is about 173 billion lightyears. Guess what? The radius of the observable universe is about 46.5 billion lightyears. It’s smaller than the Schwarzschild radius. Our universe is a giant black hole! We are all inside the event horizon!

    So why are we not all walking spaghetti? Dark energy. This is a kind of anti-gravity. Not only does it prevent us from falling into the singularity, it also accelerates the expansion of space. Our universe is a black hole. The singularity is the Big Bang. In general relativity, space and time is a single entity called spacetime. So the singularity is separated from us not only in space but also in time. The Big Bang lies in our past.

    In my Darkside Force theory, I derived the Cosmological Equations that govern the evolution of the universe. Solving these equations, I predict the universe will recollapse into the singularity. But that is another episode in a galaxy far, far away…

  42. Simply put, black holes do NOT exist.

    How could they, considering that the mathematical equation used to theorise their existence has been proven faulty?

  43. I hate to rain on people’s parades but that looks like an Electromagnetic torus with glow plasma rotating around the electric field.

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