Earthlings might get to see what a black hole's event horizon looks like if speculations about the European Southern Observatory's announcement is to be believed.
The international space agency is set to deliver some big news on April 10 related to the ongoing Event Horizon Telescope project. While no details have been released yet, the ESO hinted that it has something to do with the first-ever results of the initiative.
Many observers on the internet believe ESO scientists may have finally captured an image of actual event horizon. The phenomenon has never been observed before because black holes are practically invisible in space.
The EHT announcement might end up becoming a significant milestone for the scientific community.
Unlocking the secrets of black holes holds the key to understanding gravity in general. Not only does it help fine tune Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity, it also allows researchers better calibrate global positioning satellites.
A Blackhole's Event Horizon
Members of the EHT team have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy to determine where the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A is located. However, the nature of black holes has made it difficult to spot the phenomenon using any of the optical, radio, X-ray, or gamma-ray telescopes available. This is why they focused their efforts in finding an event horizon instead.
An event horizon is the point of a black hole where no light can escape. Spotting one is possible in theory, but it will not be an easy task because of how hard it is to predict the spacetime around black holes.
Additionally, the thick layer of gas and dust surrounding Sagittarius A has made it difficult to see the phenomenon in space.
To solve this problem, researchers from different parts of the world worked together to find the event horizon. They used all available telescopes to collect large volumes of data that they would need. They then spent a long time sorting through all of the information they have gathered and analyzed them.
By the looks of things, the ESO scientists may have found what they have been searching for.
The ESO announced that the EHT team, along with the European Commission and the European Research Council, will present the results of their project. The groups confidently describe their findings as "groundbreaking."
A planned news conference next week will be streamed online on the space agency's website, as well as by the ERC and various related social media pages. Viewers will be able to send in their questions to the researchers on social media via the hashtag #AskEHTeu.
The ESO will send out an official press release regarding the presentation, which will be available in different languages. The space agency will also provide extensive audiovisual material along with the press release.
In all, six press conferences will be held simultaneously in different parts of the world. These will be in Brussels, Belgium; Santiago, Chile; Shanghai, China; Tokyo, Japan; Taipei, Taiwan; and Washington, D.C., United States.
"Due to the importance of this result, we encourage satellite events in the different ESO Member States and beyond," the space agency said.