Katie Mack @AstroKatie (a.k.a. Dr Katherine J Mack) astrophysicist/cosmologist, occasional freelance science writer, connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes Apr. 09, 2019 1 min read

Tune in tomorrow to stare into the abyss! #EHT #BlackHolePicture

A reminder, while we’re on the subject, that black holes (or, to be precise, the stuff in their VERY near vicinity) are actually some of the brightest things in the cosmos:  https://cosmosmagazine.com/space/the-bright-side-of-black-holes 

We already take pics of black holes; what’s @ehtelescope looking for? Usually, we see a bright glow from the whirlpool of matter falling in (the accretion disk). EHT might be able to make out the “shadow”: a dark hole in that glow from where light can’t escape the event horizon.

A black hole “shadow” isn’t a shadow at all, of course. It’s a part of space that’s so warped that it’s pulling all the light into it, so even though there’s extraordinarily bright glowing plasma all around it, in that small region all you can see is pure black.

Here’s a simulated pic of what a black hole with a bright hot accretion disk might look like up close, from  https://blackholecam.org/research/bhshadow/ . The shadow is the dark bit in the upper middle. (But the #EHT resolution is not this good; don’t hold out hope for more than a handful of pixels)

You can follow @AstroKatie.


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