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“Extraordinary announcement” of the central black hole of our galaxy expected on May 12

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The European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project will hold a global press conference on May 12 to unveil new findings about the center of the Milky Way. This international collaboration of radio telescopes and the event Horizon Telescope Labs is primarily intended to capture an image. Black hole. This has been done since 2019 when astronomers released the first live image of the black hole’s event horizon. Galaxy Giant elliptical M87. Similarly, at a press conference scheduled for May 12, a historic revelation regarding the central black hole of our galaxy is expected to be made. Sagittarius A *.

EHT is a virtual telescope (network of telescopes) with a diameter of 10,000 km. The larger the telescope, the more details it can capture. However, this is not a unique telescope! In fact, it risks collapsing under its own weight … Event Horizon telescope covers most of the world due to the combination of multiple observatories spread across the planet. It brings together the IRAM (International Millimeter Radioastronomy Institute) 30 meter telescope in Europe, the ALMA radio telescope in Chile (jointly operated by Europe, USA and Japan) and structures in the United States. Hawaii and Antarctica.

Despite the use of these technologies and the release of EHT teams, photographs of the “real” black hole have not yet reached us. A quality film in 2019. In fact, this type of astronomical object has the key properties of being so large that nothing can escape, not even light. Scientists have been trying for years to observe what is around the black hole, the “accretion disk”. It is a substance and gas that circulates at a very high speed around the center of matter, which heats up to extreme temperatures. Of course, they are swallowed up by the black hole.

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Next May 12th, project scientists will be holding simultaneous press conferences around the world, so we can speculate that their announcement will be mostly exciting and may worry about the first image of the largest black hole in the center of the planet. Milky Way, named Sagittarius A *.

Two goals

For EHT, Sagittarius A * and M87 * All eight sites need good weather at the same time. Sagittarius A * is the primary of the two goals of the plan. The object is located at 26,000 Light years At the center of the Earth, our galaxy. Its mass is 4.3 million times that of the Sun, which is relatively small compared to a massive black hole. The second target is the galaxy M87’s black hole, which is much larger and farther away.

Despite this, the M87 provided the first exploitative results. In fact, Sgr A * is obscured by clouds of dust and gas, making it particularly difficult to read. The image of the M87 looks like a slightly blurred orange patch. The “shadow” of the black hole in the middle appears as an opaque area. So we can not really see the black hole because its gravity prevents any possible detectable radiation from escaping. Experts compare direct photography of the M87 * to observing an object the size of 1 millimeter at a distance of 13,000 kilometers.

Note that the data generated by this monitoring network is substantial, and it is made up of entire hard disks to move all data sets. In addition, not all data can be accessed at once. In fact, the Antarctic telescope has been isolated for half a year. However, we will have to wait until May 12 to find out what the EHT has observed regarding Sgr A * and what the scientists have concluded.

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Multiple distribution channels for an awesome announcement

However, the ESO press release promises something “revolutionary”. This is the word already used to announce the first live image of the black hole in 2019. The conference will take place online on the ESO website and ESO YouTube channel on 12 May 2022 at 3:00 pm CEST (3: 00 pm French time). Simultaneous press conferences will be held around the world, including in Washington DC, Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Tokyo and Taipei. Magazine releases will have important audiovisual content that will leave us dreaming!

As far as ESO is concerned, the conference will be held at its headquarters in Germany. The Director General of ESO will deliver the keynote address. EHT Project Director Huib Jan van Langevelde and EHT Cooperation Council Founding Chairman Anton Genes will deliver keynote speeches. A panel of EHT researchers will explain the results and answer questions. Following the lectures is a YouTube event with many EHT expert astronomers, such as a public question-and-answer session.

Source: ESO