Black holes and a clever trick

Over a year ago, last April, astronomers made history (as they always do, of course) when they managed to take the first ever photo of a black hole. Not just any black hole, but the supermassive black hole located at the center of Messier 87, a massive elliptical galaxy located in the Virgo Cluster over 50 million light years away. This link, which I will post at the end of my spiel, goes over just how exactly we pulled off such an astonishing feat.

In short, we linked together telescopes from all over the world, essentially creating a telescope the size of the earth, all synchronized towards one particular object, in this case, the black hole at the center of M87. This technique is known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI for short. Yes, astronomers aren’t very creative with their naming scheme.

The supermassive black hole located at the center of M87 is over a thousand times the mass of the black hole at the center of our own galaxy, Sagitarrius A*, which is 4 million solar masses, versus the 6 billion solar masses of M87’s supermassive black hole. M87 was chosen both for its size, and for the fact that it is an active black hole, unlike our own.

The odds of successfully pulling this off were incredibly low, but we succeeded, almost as if it was an act of divine providence that we would actually pull this off. I’ll leave the question of whether it was or not to the theologians, of course. Besides setting history for taking the first photo of an actual black hole ever, this event is also important cause it further confirms Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Those looking for answers regarding quantum gravity and how to successfully reconcile the disagreements between the Standard Model and relativity will have to wait their turn for now, alas.

As promised, here’s the link:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/news/2019/4/19/how-scientists-captured-the-first-image-of-a-black-hole/

Addressing Morons About Black Holes

I`m a little late to the party but I’ve seen some hogwash going around about how the new black hole photo taken recently is a “hoax,” citing the fact that the photo is blurry to claim it’s “photoshopped.” Of course the damn photo’s gonna be blurry, it’s a picture of an object over fifty three MILLION light years away, be amazed we even managed to take the photo in the first place. Idiots, I swear. Why would they hoax something as amazing as this? Wouldn’t it be a far greater accomplishment to, you know, *take the damn photo in the first place*?

This reeks of the bullshit about the supposed Apollo Moon landings “hoax” and the same principle applies here as it does there, it would be an infinitely greater achievement to actually land on the Moon as oppose to faking it, sometimes the path of least resistance isn’t always the way to go. People are too pessimistic and paranoid, well there’s my two cents. Make of it what you will.