The first image of the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy was released. And this is what NASA does now
Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 12 May 2022, at 07:41 am Los Angeles time
NASA is mobilizing three telescopes to study the black hole in the center of our galaxy, a huge monster, seen for the first time now by the Event Horizon Telescope.
The Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory (Swift) headed for the supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way 27,000 light-years from Earth.
The new EHT image captures an area very close to the event horizon, where nothing, not even light, can escape once it falls under the control of the huge gravity of the black hole.
The image is based on data obtained by NASA from EHT in 2017, which were grouped together to result in this spectacular image.
The studies of the three X-ray observers reveal even more about the surroundings in which the black hole was captured, providing important data that scientists can use in the future to make new discoveries about these wonders of the Universe.
As you can see in the image above, presented by NASA, as well, from several data gathered together, from the telescopes:
- Chandra, its X-ray observations are visible in the blue image. They illustrate hot gas, driven by massive stars near the black hole
- Hubble, its observations with infrared light at different wavelengths being in this image, both in the form of orange representing the stars and purple representing the cold gas
The image with the data collected by NASA is approx. 7 years long light, while EHT image of the black hole having 1.8 x 10-5 light-years or 10 minutes light.
To find out more, scientists also used radio data from East Asia's Very Long Base Interferometer (VLBI) network and the 3mm global VLBI matrix, as well as infrared data from the Very Large Telescope. Southern European Observatory in Chile.
It is the second image of this type, after the one from 2019, which shows the supermassive hole named Messier 87.
"But this new image is special because it's our supermassive black hole," said Prof Heino Falcke, one of the European pioneers behind the EHT project.
After very high-resolution images have been captured so far, from a lot of data gathered by telescopes studying black holes, scientists expect that the newly launched telescope, namely the James Webb Telescope (JWST), will be able to reach even more. as far as other telescopes could.
The new image of the black hole as well as the main X-ray panel representing the data collected from the telescope spread all over the Earth and in Space can now lead to discoveries about the black holes that Stephen Hawking was probably fascinated to see.