NOV 20, 2017 03:14 PM PST

When Will We Actually Photograph a Black Hole?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard
2 3 227


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
JUL 11, 2018
Videos
JUL 11, 2018
College Football Player Who Committed Suicide Had CTE
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is the talk of professional sports. From NFL players to ice hockey veterans, rugby teams, and soccer organizations,
JUL 18, 2018
Videos
JUL 18, 2018
Brain Differences in Men and Women
Men and women are different, of that there is no doubt. In neuroscience, there has been a lot of research into these differences, as they relate to treatin
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
No language needed
If you don’t have language, how do you think? If you know fewer words, can you think fewer thoughts? Or perhaps less complex thoughts? That’s t
JUL 23, 2018
Space & Astronomy
JUL 23, 2018
Earth is Pretty Small Compared to Everything Else in Space
To you and I, the Earth might seem like a large place. But in astronomical terms, our planet is actually quite small. Comparatively, the gas giant planets
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabinoids Used in Treatment for ALS
The Ice Bucket Challenge brought attention to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and the need for further research on the fatal disease. This progressive
AUG 04, 2018
Videos
AUG 04, 2018
A Radical New Approach to Treating Neurodegeneration
The pathways that neural impulses travel can't be retrieved once they're lost... or can they?
Loading Comments...