Smithsonian Channel sets April premiere for "Black Hole Hunters"

Olive Hawkins
April 5, 2019

Black holes have fascinated humanity since they were first proposed more than 200 years ago.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, an global effort that aims to capture the first-ever image of a black hole, will announce a "groundbreaking result" at a news conference next week, team members said Monday (April 1). This mega-telescope's ultimate mission: to capture the first image ever of a black hole. Instead, scientists have been able to image the chaos that appears just outside the black hole, known as the black hole's "Event Horizon.' That's the 'point-of-no-return" for anything heading into the black hole and where our knowledge of physics begin to break down.

Taking a photo of a black hole is not an easy task. The specific black hole astronomers wanted to photograph, Sagittarius A*, lies at the center of our galaxy 25,000 light-years away.

Excitement is growing about the series of press conferences, as they could well announce a photograph - breaking new ground in our understanding of the universe.

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The European Southern Observatory is planning a major announcement next week to "present a groundbreaking result from the EHT (Event Horizon Telescope)", according to a media advisory released today.

Scientists have targeted Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole that lurks in the middle of our galaxy.

So while we can understand black holes by proxy, because of the way they affect the space that surrounds them, they cannot be directly seen.

If the large astronomy team behind the work is indeed prepared to show us a real black hole for the first time, it'll be an incredible day and we can't wait to see it. Six global space agencies will hold press briefings around the world, including in Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo will also be held next Wednesday, a release from the agency said. The observatories around the world focus on the locations of the black hole and individually capture the radio signals emitted by the "event horizon".

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