How can a black hole be imaged?

2 min read
  1. Scientists have recently revealed the first ever image of a black hole. The black hole is located at the centre of a distant galaxy called Messier 87 (M87) located in Virgo A constellation. It is supermassive-6.5 billion times the Solar mass.
  2. The image of the black hole was taken by the Event Horizon telescope (ETH). The ETH is a project comprised of eight different telescopes at different observatories around the world. It has been operating in synchronicity to image the black holes in the centre of M87 galaxy and Sagittarius A* black hole located at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.
  3. A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape. These black holes consist a huge amount of matter packed densely into a small area, giving it an immense gravitational pull. Black holes are thought to be formed when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle.
  4. The black hole itself cannot be seen as light cannot pass through it. It possess an event horizon- a boundary designating the point of no return. Any object including light that falls within its event horizon is sucked into the black hole. However, if something that orbits the black hole outside the event horizon shines as it usually does, the black hole can be seen in shadow against this shine.