NOV 20, 2017 03:14 PM PST

When Will We Actually Photograph a Black Hole?


If you were to ask a handful of professional astronomers what they thought one of the most intriguing things about outer space were, many would probably mention black holes. But why all the wonder? Perhaps it's because we've never actually seen what a black hole looks like.

Indeed, every image of a black hole you've ever seen to date is nothing more than an article's impression. In fact, humankind has never photographed a raw image of a black hole before because they reside in the perfect camouflage: a dense, dark object in the middle of the blackness of outer space.

Some of the ways we detect black holes are when light passes near one and the immense gravitational forces 'bend' said light or when the black hole devours something massive and then 'burps' following on the large meal. On the other hand, these detections are nothing more than depictions of the light surrounding the black hole, and not the object of interest itself.

Given that we've never actually photographed a black hole before, you can bet that space scientists are just itching to get their hands on a photograph of one. Using a network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope, they hope to gather enough interferometry data from several globally-placed radio telescopes to compose a full picture.

While scientists have collected much of the data already, we now need to process countless petabytes of data. Unfortunately, the files that make up this data are much too large for transmission, so the physical storage drives get transported from one place to another for analysis, and that takes time.

The first processed image of an actual black hole could be ready for public viewing by 2018, but scientists still aren't sure what we might see after processing all the data. For all we know, we might not have all the data we need yet.

Without a reasonable doubt, it should be fascinating to see what scientists come up with when everything's said and done.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 06, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 06, 2018
Plastics Recylcing: How Does It Work?
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), a thermoplastic polymer consisting of numerous units of terephthalate (C10H8O4),  is one of the most co...
SEP 22, 2018
Videos
SEP 22, 2018
Did a Vampire Facial Expose Patients to Bloodborne Disease?
It seems there is no shortage of unusual beauty rituals; vampire facials may fall into that category....
SEP 25, 2018
Space & Astronomy
SEP 25, 2018
Japan Put Two Landers On An Asteroid for Science
Japanese space agency JAXA recently made history after its Hayabusa 2 mission approached the asteroid 162173 Ryugu and dumped off two landers to study the ...
SEP 26, 2018
Videos
SEP 26, 2018
Cancer Immunotherapy
Video illustration about how tumor cells are sensed and destroyed by the immune system and how tumors evolve and detect immune-mediated eliminations, as well as iimmunotherapies associated....
OCT 09, 2018
Videos
OCT 09, 2018
Take-out doesn't have to be this way
I love take-out just as much as the next person, but there's something that gets to me every time I order in: the amount of single-use waste that comes...
OCT 11, 2018
Videos
OCT 11, 2018
An Inexpensive Kit Teaches Kids About Molecular Biology
Biology is advancing at a rapid pace. Students will be ready for those advances if they can learn about cutting-edge concepts at an early age....
Loading Comments...