After years of global efforts, the first ever images of the black hole is now in the final stage of "printing" and will be released next Wednesday, according to Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
The brightness around the object was an accumulation of gas and plasma swirling around a black hole that is absolutely black and measures 22 million kilometers in diameter (by comparison, our sun is a measly 700,000km in diameter).
Black holes, coming in a variety of sizes, are extraordinarily dense entities formed when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.
As Lai explained, it's hard to see black hole shadows clearly because any images are blurred by interstellar gas, which presents a complicated challenge for the EHT team.
Since 2017, the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHT) has been studying two supermassive black holes, one located at the center of the Milky Way, called Sagittarius A*, the other found at the core of the supergiant elliptical galaxy Messier 87.
The fact that black holes do not allow light to escape makes viewing them hard.
In their attempt to capture an image of a black hole, scientists combined the power of eight radio telescopes around the world using Very-Long-Baseline-Interferometry, according to the European Southern Observatory, which is part of the EHT. The M87 resides at the centre of the neighbouring Virgo A galaxy, possessing a mass 3.5 billion times that of the sun and located 54 million light-years away from Earth. More than 100 years ago, Einstein's equations predicted exactly what the size and shape of a black hole's shadow would be. The Event Horizon Telescope project's primary goal has always been to image a black hole, and they're now just days away from delivering on that promise. Researchers have also designed computer simulations and models that compute the shape of a black hole's event horizon, which can be tested with the actual physical observation.
Dr. Urry pointed out that evidence for the existence of black holes has mounted steadily since the 1960s, including the Nobel Prize-winning detection, in 2015, of vibrations in spacetime from two colliding black holes by the LIGO experiment.
Exciting news, definitely, but now we can't get the Muse song out of our heads. "It's like making a new camera with a new kind of film, a new kind of lens, combining it with other cameras, all at once, and if that could happen, if we could actually get in and see right up close to the horizon". This includes one by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which is being held in Washington D.C's National Press Club and will be chaired by director France Córdova.
The announcement is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, April 10th.