First ever image of a black hole

Aug 2012
1,554
#2
It looks so beautiful, and it's an incredible accomplishment for us to actually see such a thing. I wonder if, given the strange light, it has a tremendous heat about it?
One day perhaps we'll be able to send a probe inside, and see what it sees, and so learn more about such things.
 
Likes: Niobe
Mar 2019
1,626
Kansas
#3
It looks so beautiful, and it's an incredible accomplishment for us to actually see such a thing. I wonder if, given the strange light, it has a tremendous heat about it?
One day perhaps we'll be able to send a probe inside, and see what it sees, and so learn more about such things.
Well the image is not optical. It was captured with a network of radio telescopes

The glow around the hole is the accretion disk. Material does not fall straight into a black hole as we might see depicted in films and such. What it does is go into orbit. As it gets closer it becomes faster, and compressed with other 'stuff' being trapped by the hole. The continual compression causes thing to heat up

The amount of heat being generated is almost meaningless. This image is being detected in X-ray, which means the minimum temperature is about 300,000 degrees. Roughly 40 times hotter than the sun. The two brighter almost white sections are close to 3 million degrees.

The black hole at the center of our galaxy is about to begin gobbling up a pretty sizable chunk of gas cloud. So there are very good chances images far more detailed than the about will be available to us from a closer source within the decade
 
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#4
An article in today’s edition of Atlanta Journal Constitution reprints an article from The New York Times, the champion of science, that says «. . .a black hole 7 billion times the mass of the sun is spewing a jet of energy thousands of light-years across space. »
 
Mar 2019
1,626
Kansas
#5
An article in today’s edition of Atlanta Journal Constitution reprints an article from The New York Times, the champion of science, that says «. . .a black hole 7 billion times the mass of the sun is spewing a jet of energy thousands of light-years across space. »
Black holes switch on and off depending if they are gobbling something. When switched on they become quasars. Basically as material becomes more and more compressed in the accretion disk, more an more energy is released. Eventually that energy erupts in a jet like fountain away from the black hole that spans thousands of light years.

Here is an image of the jet being spat out by the black hole referenced in the above article

Active Galaxies and Quasars - The Optical Jet in M87
 
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#6
Black holes switch on and off depending if they are gobbling something. When switched on they become quasars. Basically as material becomes more and more compressed in the accretion disk, more an more energy is released. Eventually that energy erupts in a jet like fountain away from the black hole that spans thousands of light years.

Here is an image of the jet being spat out by the black hole referenced in the above article

Active Galaxies and Quasars - The Optical Jet in M87
I’ve never read that before. Are you sure the jet is coming from the black hole itself and not elsewhere in the galaxy M87?

I’m inquiring, not challenging.
 
Mar 2019
1,626
Kansas
#7
I’ve never read that before. Are you sure the jet is coming from the black hole itself and not elsewhere in the galaxy M87?

I’m inquiring, not challenging.
I understand :) They spent a lot of time figuring that exact question out. The center of M87 has a strong radio source called Virgo A. They knew the jet originated from that point. So by using more and more detailed observation they pinned the radio source to the black hole.

They knew about quasars since the 1960s and the jets they produced since the 1980s. It has really only been over the last 20 years or so they managed to tie everything together. For example why did some galaxies have a quasar and others like our galaxy did not. Eventually it all tied to the feeding habits of the black holes.