Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Black Hole:M87

Image result for black hole

Environmental & Science Education
Nature of Science
Edward Hessler

By now you've likely seem news of the first picture/image of a black hole found in a galaxy known as M87.

The gargantuan size boggles the mind; too large for most of us to conceive since we don't toss them around daily. Think big. Think huge. Think even larger.  Some numbers from the BBC provide perspective: "It measures 40 billion km (~ 24854847689 miles) across--three million times the size of the Earth. ...The black hole is 500 million trillion km away. ... What we see is larger than the size of our entire Solar System. ... It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun."

Here, from the BBC, is a nice image, a discussion on how the research was done, including a map locating the telescopes, a video on one unanswered question, and a description of a black hole.

Black holes are a prediction from Einstein's general theory of relativity. For a discussion of the history of scientists who contributed to our understanding black holes, see this Wiki entry. It is pleasantly complicated.

Here is very nice talk and demonstration on how to understand the image of a black hole. Be sure to read the extended discussion at the bottom of the video if you are interested in more information. I think he was spot on on what the world would see today, April 10, 2019. 

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