Saturday, 29 September 2012

Radius of a Black Hole Measured and First Direct Image of Black Hole

Just recently scientists have been able to measure the radius of black holes. No easy feat of technical prowess, for scientists to look at the Super Massive black hole in the galaxy M87 (A Distant Galaxy). This SMBH is 6 million times more dense than our local sun, which is expected as Black Holes collapse under its own gravitation force and compress into singularities allowing them to swallow anything that enters its region. Normally the cause of star systems to localise around one reference point, with the galaxy being so large, the densest object will take rule over anything else in the region, gravitationally, thus making everything else literally revolve around it

The radius of the Black Hole was measured using a special analytical tool called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), situated in three locations, being Hawaii, California and Arizona. The data that was obtained from these telescopes was algamated to create a more advanced and more detailed picture (very high resolution) detailing the Black Hole and its apparent accretion disk. As a result of this joint effort, scientists were able to view directly, matter entering towards the event horizon at the edge of the black hole.

 Fig.1 Bright light emitted from the Black Hole and energy excitement (Accretion Disk)
Credit: Hubble Space Telescope/EHT

The Astronomers were able to identify the radius length of the black hole, by being able to observe and study the jets of energy-excited matter, that was being evacuated from the Black Hole, which was travelling at near speed of light. The super-fast matter leaving the Black Hole is caused by super heating the accretion disk (Matter surrounding the black holes event horizon). The Black Holes rotation and the matter particles that are surrounding it make a powerful electro-magnetic field. This field would cause the Black Hole to spit out hot matter and shoot it across the galaxy, perhaps even further.
Though this hasn’t been the first time that matter has been sprung from the M87s Black Hole. The Hubble Space Telescope captured images of piping hot jets emitting in 1998. Though with the inadequate resolution the Hubble was not able to make a precise measurement that were needed to factor the size of the Black Hole and its accretion disk.
After stringent calculations, scientists have determined that the accretions disks currently are about 5.5 times bigger than the Black Hole itself. This is then given an estimation of the radius of the Black Hole using smart mathematical techniques.
The new EHT will be adding new technology to the its inventory station array, which will grant more precise measurements and advanced resolutions allowing Astronomers to clarify and/or verify scientific theories about the behaviour of Black Holes. More importantly, grant a new light in to Einstein’s theory of Relativity determine whether Einstein was correct all those years ago or not!


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