today i learned – mon 7th aug 2017

as promised yesterday, today i’ve been looking into that whole taking a picture of a black hole thing that i mentioned 😏

headache gone and black hole sun blasting in my lug ‘ole 👂🏻 (it’s by soundgarden … it’s ace … get on it!) it’s time to go full science on this shizz 🤓

#tdil i learned that scientists may have managed to take a real life actual photo of a black hole 😱 … that’s actually nuts.

so, before we start, for those who are new to space geek times, a black hole is a gravitational sinkhole – the grasps of which nothing can escape. they’re basically the badasses of space; just chilling ‘invisibly’ and sucking up planets, general space gubbins and even light!? (like a henry hoover that’s gone rogue)

their actual existence was first introduced theoretically by einstein in 1915 … the existence of super massive black holes was one of the first predictions of einstein’s theory of general relativity 👨🏻‍🔬.

anyway, whilst scientists have long studied the effect of black holes on the surrounding environment, they never actually seen one … until now … well soon 😏. thanks to the ‘event horizon telescope’ (go visit their site ->here<- it’s fascinating) there may soon be an actual photo of an actual supermassive black hole 😱.

well, kind of anyway … more precisely it’ll be a picture of the mysterious region that surrounds the black hole – the ‘event horizon’ (clue in the telescope’s name really) … this is the boundary which nothing can escape from – not even light.

how exactly did they do it? well, in april of this year, they used a network of eight powerful radio telescopes that are located all over the world. the effect of all of these different international telescope arrays joining forces was the creation of a virtual telescope dish as wide as the planet! 🌎

they then waited for the perfect gap in the weather (just 5 days worth of window) and honed the telescope’s sights on two supermassive black holes: one named sagittarius a* that sits in the centre of our milky way galaxy and is as heavy as four million suns (yeah, there’s a giant space hoover at the centre of our galaxy 🙃) and one at the core of the nearby galaxy named m87 … that one is 1500 times heavier 😳.

all of the telescopes then used millimetre radio waves to penetrate the dense dust and gas at the centre of the galaxy to paint a picture of the black hole. all of this data was then stored on a whole load of hard drives … 1024 to be exact 😳. it’s too big to be sent via wetransfer or dropbox, so all of the info has to be mailed to be processed at mit haystack and the max planck institute for radio astronomy 🔭.

as you can imagine, that much data will take a real long time to be analysed and processed – like months 😭 … the hard drives from the telescope in the south pole can’t even leave the country until october 😕 #becausemadsnow.

meaning that, even though this all happened in april, we’ll have to wait a while for our mad picture of nature’s superhoover 😒 … i don’t like waiting … want to see it now!

i wonder if it’ll be anything like the ones from interstellar that we discussed yesterday? 🤔 they took 100 hours a frame and advanced physics to create … so you never know! anyway, you can read more about that ->here<-

i’ve tried quite hard to make this not super long 🙈 but it’s hard when discussing something complex like black holes! if you’d like to read more about this and black holes in general, my source is ->here<-

right, byyeeeeeee 😬 #tdil


ahhhh yeah, another physics type beast 😎 these ones fascinate me 🤓 if you feel like reading some more stuff (probably less geeky than this) you just need to go ->here<-

(now, i’m not sure whether i’m allowed to use that image or not 🙃 please don’t sue me, controllers of the black holes 😭 you’ll find the original ->here<- (i also linked them higher up in the post! 👆🏻👆🏻)

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