It is believed that there is a black hole in the center of our Milky Way and maybe in few years we would be able to see actual images of it rather than the drawings we have now.
Black holes have always been one of the most interesting mysteries of the universe. What is known about them cannot be compared to whatever else it could be discovered in the future.
A black hole is a region of space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape from it, including light. This happens when a star dies; its matter squeezes into a very tiny space and its gravitational force gets stronger.
Since not even light can escape from it, a black hole is basically invisible. But astronomers can find them by the use of special tools that examine how stars behave compared to other stars, which provides clues to where a black hole is.
Pictures of black holes!
However, there are indirect images of black holes that do not show their actual appearance but the elements around them that demonstrate their existence.
Black holes are invisible. Let’s not forget that. But there is something around them called the “event horizon” which is the “point of no return” of each black hole. It allows itself to be visible thanks to the radiation it emits by the matter that falls into the black hole.
“A black hole’s immediate surroundings have a lot of really interesting physics going on, and they emit light. Technically speaking, we aren’t exactly seeing the black hole, but we are effectively resolving the event horizon,” said the University of California, Berkeley student Ayman Bin Kamruddin, as reported by Space.com.
Do we live in a black hole or what?
Astronomers suspect the existence of massive black holes in the center of galaxies. They can identify them by studying the event horizon: stars and clouds of gas moving at high speeds in those areas, sometimes even sound waves. If there is more mass than the one provided by the stars, then that extra mass is a black hole.
It is believed that our Milky Way has a black hole in its center; however, it has never been directly seen. There is a short clip of a 16-year time lapse of stars moving near the center of the Milky Way featured at the related article of Vox.com that shows evidence of a black hole existing there.
We can call the Dimitrios Psaltis our black hole since it is the one in the center of the Milky Way. It is actually the largest black hole in the sky but it would be almost impossible to take a picture of it since it would be like “taking a picture of a DVD on the surface of the moon”, said an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona to a reporter of Vox.com
Thanks to special telescopes that are currently under construction, astronomers are able to predict what the first pictures of this black hole and some others will look like.
“Just getting an image itself will be mind-blowing,” Kamruddin said at Space.com’s article. “It will provide direct confirmation of the event horizon, which has been predicted, but no one’s ever actually seen it. Seeing what it is like will rule out certain physics.”
How to take a picture of a black hole
Some of the best indirect images of black holes were taken at the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra is a space telescope designed to see the X-rays produced by the friction and high speeds of the event horizon.
There is also a new project called the Event Horizon Telescope which is a global network of sensors that could be the biggest telescope on Earth. It is expected to be able to sight the tiniest and farthest objects of space and take the first image of an event horizon within at least five years.
If astronomers and scientists are given images of a black hole, they will be able to learn more about the effects of extreme gravity and test Einstein’s theory of general relativity.