Katie Mack @AstroKatie (a.k.a. Dr Katherine J Mack) astrophysicist/cosmologist, occasional freelance science writer, connoisseur of cosmic catastrophes Apr. 10, 2019 1 min read

Q: Does the #EHT #BlackHoleImage result finally prove the existence of black holes?
A: We've had EXTREMELY COMPELLING evidence for BHs for a long time. E.g., we see stars in the center of our Galaxy orbiting SOMETHING very massive, small, not shining.  http://www.astro.ucla.edu/~ghezgroup/gc/animations.html 

There's been a LOT of great evidence for #BlackHoles in the cosmos. @LIGO #GravitationalWave detections have shown us how they warp & shake up space itself! We've seen extremely small bright sources -- apparently hot matter being pulled in, & sometimes stars being ripped apart!

The unique thing about the @ehtelescope #BlackHoleImage is that it's showing us something we haven't seen before: the dark region of space where light has been pulled in & swallowed up. If it were just a massive star or solid object, the center of the image would be bright.

The idea that anything in science has been "proven" is a tricky one; most of the time, you just pile up evidence beyond all reasonable doubt. I would say that we've been in that situation with black holes for a long time. But, still, *seeing* one swallow up light? EXTREMELY COOL


You can follow @AstroKatie.



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