For how much astronomers know about black holes — it’s a lot, trust me — it’s a bit of a shock that mankind has never actually seen one. Everything science knows about black holes is based on inference rather than actually witnessing one with our own eyes (electronic or otherwise), but that may be about to change.
The Event Horizon Telescope project plans to reveal the first-ever images of a black hole, and the international group of researchers working on the project have something very big to show the world this week. We may be just days away from seeing a black hole for the first time ever.
As you might have guessed, this is a pretty big deal. The Event Horizon researchers are going all-out with the announcement, which is scheduled for this Wednesday, and they’ll be holding press conferences in multiple languages simultaneously all around the globe.
The official announcement promises plenty of information as well as “audiovisual material” which we can only hope includes the first-ever images of a black hole.
Countless theories, calculations, and estimations have been made about black holes, leading science to suspect a jet black “pit” of sorts with gravitational pull so intense that nothing can escape it. What a real black hole actually looks like, however, could differ significantly. There’s a lot riding on what we see on Wednesday, and while we’ve seen black holes in science fiction for decades, we might be in for a surprise.
The images, once we see them, will have been made possible by a planet-wide network of telescopes working in unison to peer deeper into the galaxy than ever before. The Event Horizon Telescope project’s primary goal has always been to image a black hole, and they’re now just days away from delivering on that promise.
The announcement is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. EST on Wednesday, April 10th. And the entire event will be streamed online via Facebook as well as the ESO’s official website.