Even if you are interested in Astrophysics or not, you just witnessed a historical moment earlier this week. This was the time when the first image of Black hole was released to the public. This major achievement was done by a team of scientists which was headed by Katie Boudman. Now, taking an image of Black hole is a major achievement in itself because of various reasons.
The first one being that it is unimaginably far from earth. According to an estimate, Black hole is 500 million trillion km away from our planet. It is also billion times larger than the Earth too. Another reason is that Black hole is an enormous magnet, as per say. This means any object that comes near to it is sucked into the hole never to be found again. And obviously, by objects we mean planets and stars in our solar system.
Now, it is also understood that a light which comes out of the Black hole travels 55 billion light years to reach earth. Therefore, you can understand the huge numbers we are talking about here. Obviously, no one has been able to see the Black hole as of yet. The image which was released is also available thanks to hundreds of TBs of data from various satellites around the world.
It is also said that researchers at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which released the black hole image, made telescope the size of our entire planet. Professor Heino Falcke, one of the researchers in this project, revealed that the Black hole was found in a Galaxy named M87. He was also quoted as saying that “What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System,”
The professor also added that “It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. And it is one of the heaviest black holes that we think exists. It is an absolute monster, the heavyweight champion of black holes in the Universe.” Talking about the ring of light around the black hole, it is referred to as bright halo which is caused by superheated gas falling into the hole. The light is brighter than all the billions of other stars in the galaxy combined. And it is also the reason why it can be seen at such distance from Earth.