Scientists have revealed the very first image of a black hole — and for some on social media, the glowing orange ring looks awfully familiar.
Black holes have extremely strong gravity, meaning anything that enters its event horizon, or point of no return, is swallowed up, according to NASA.
In the image released Wednesday, the black hole is outlined by an orange ring that’s actually emission from hot gas swirling near its event horizon.
For many, the blurry image called to mind various other objects, including the Xbox 360’s infamous Ring of Death, or the Eye of Sauron, an evil symbol featured in Lord of the Rings.
Others referenced the movie The Sixth Sense, joking that the hole looked like the film’s movie poster, while others still joked about what types of things were lurking inside the hole — or that it wasn’t actually a black hole at all.
The image, which has been praised by scientists as an “amazing accomplishment,” was captured by an international network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope, according to NASA.
The black hole sits at the center of galaxy Messier 87, located nearly 55 million light-years away from Earth, and has a mass 6.5 billion times bigger than the sun.
“This is an amazing accomplishment by the EHT team,” said Paul Hertz, director of the astrophysics division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, according to NASA. “Years ago, we thought we would have to build a very large space telescope to image a black hole. By getting radio telescopes around the world to work in concert like one instrument, the EHT team achieved this, decades ahead of time.”
Source: Read Full Article