An international research team, including Korea, has connected 8 radio telescopes around the world to observe “Arc A”
M87 discovered in 2019 looks like a black hole…General relativity has been proven once again
“One step closer to the difficulties of galaxy formation and evolution…ongoing efforts to unravel the mysteries of the early universe”
[서울=뉴시스] Reporter Lee Jin-young = Humans have spotted a “black hole” for the second time. A joint international research team consisting of Korean researchers has captured and published for the first time a real image of a “supermassive black hole” located at the center of our galaxy to which the solar system belongs. Three years have passed since the first public image of a black hole in the center of M87, belonging to the Virgo cluster, appeared in April 2019.
The challenge for humanity continues to approach the mystery of black holes, a concept that Einstein was not convinced of the existence and form of black holes by his general theory of relativity 100 years ago.
On the 12th day, a joint international research team from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), in which the Korea Institute of Astronomy and Space Sciences participated, published an image of the “Arc A” (Sgr A) supermassive black hole located in the center. From the Milky Way in The Astrophysical Journal on XII.
In the image, the black part in the middle is the black hole and the shadow including the black hole, and the bright part of the ring is the light bent by the black hole’s gravity.
The second successful discovery of a black hole after 2019
This is the first achievement in three years since the successful observation in April 2019 of the shadow of a black hole in the center of galaxy M87, about 55 million light-years from Earth.
Humans have made great efforts to observe black holes, but methods of observation are limited because the light does not come directly from celestial bodies.
So the research team created a virtual ground-level telescope with high sensitivity and resolution using the EHT, which connects eight radio telescopes based on global collaboration and captures the black hole again this time after 2019.
Among the black holes directly observed by mankind, the nearest black hole
Sagittarius The black hole is located at the center of the Milky Way, in the constellation Sagittarius, about 27,000 light-years from Earth. Its mass is about 4 million times the mass of the Sun.
Compared to the M87 black hole, its distance from the solar system is close to 1/2000, making it a strong target for black hole research. However, its mass is 1500 times less than that of M87, so the gas flow around the black hole changes rapidly and the image suffers from severe scattering effects, which makes observation difficult compared to M87.
Dr. said. Chun Moon Yeon, Son Bong Won, who participated in this study.
An orb with such a gravity that not even light can escape
A black hole is a black hole, i.e. a celestial body with a strong gravitational pull from which even light cannot escape due to the strong contraction of matter by strong gravitational pull. It is considered one of the most dramatic and romantic phenomena in the universe.
In particular, there is at least one supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy. At the center of most galaxies, including our own, are supermassive black holes with a mass of millions to billions of the mass of the Sun.
Reconfirming the accuracy of Einstein’s predictions of a black hole
The concept of a black hole was first proposed in the 18th century, but the topic of scientific research began in 1915 with Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
The general theory of relativity states that “when an object exists, the spacetime around it is affected by the object’s mass, and the greater the mass, the greater the curvature of spacetime.”
Moreover, a very huge orb has this gravity, and eventually turns into a black hole from which any matter, even massless light, can escape. He also noted that the “event horizon” (EH), the boundary of a black hole, is roughly circular, and its size can be predicted depending on the mass scale.
After EH, space travel becomes theoretically possible. This is because the speed of time varies from planet to planet.
The movie that depicts this is Interstellar. In Interstellar, there is a scene where you see the main character enter a black hole on the same spaceship and his daughter in a different time and place.
Humankind’s quest to unravel the secrets of black holes
Scientists continue their research to unravel the mysteries of black holes that are theoretical products and do not exist in reality.
In 1919, British astronomer Arthur Eddington experimentally verified for the first time the “warp of spacetime” proposed by the general theory of relativity, by observing the phenomenon of light bending around the Sun for 1.61 seconds during a total solar eclipse.
In 2015, a research team at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory was able to detect for the first time the gravitational waves (spacetime ripples) emitted during the merger of two black holes. According to the general theory of relativity, gravitational waves are waves that are generated when an object of its own mass accelerates its motion, causing space-time to warp.
Then, in April 2019, they were able to observe M87, which means humans were able to visually see what a black hole looks like for the first time.
The two black holes that have been successfully observed are similar in shape, although they are different in size and belong to galaxies. This once again confirms what Einstein predicted that black holes are round.
“The black hole and the M87 black hole have very similar shapes, according to Einstein’s general theory of relativity,” explained Cera Markov, co-chair of the EHT Scientific Council.
◆ What are you trying to discover through a black hole? Galaxy formation and evolution, secrets of the creation of the early universe
Knowing the location and structure of black holes through observation is the cornerstone of the universe’s history and future. This achievement is expected to lead to progress in the study of black holes, which has not been proven, and also to reconfirm the true appearance of black holes that cannot be seen because even light cannot escape.
In particular, scientists continue to research, believing that supermassive black holes are closely related to the formation and evolution of galaxies, that is, the formation of the early universe.
In fact, the late British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking theorized that black holes are not just the end of stars, but also the beginning of the universe. By understanding black holes, we can understand the beginning and end of the universe.
“Compared with the previous M87 black hole, a black hole is a black hole that does not have a strong jet-like ejection phenomenon,” said Professor Jae Yong Kim of Kyungpook National University, who was involved in the study of the current black hole and the arc black hole. We will be able to understand the physical origins of one of the biggest challenges in physics, black hole jets.”
Furthermore, it is expected that new findings, such as a careful validation of general relativity, will be engulfed in further research.
Building on these achievements, EHT researchers recently began developing a theory to analyze the correlation flow around supermassive black holes.
Dr. Il-je Jo (Astrophysical Research Institute, Andalusia, Spain), who was involved in the Sagittarius A imaging process of the black hole, said: “This video captures the shadow of a rapidly changing black hole and overcomes the limitations of a radio black hole. The interferometer imaging process, which assumes That fixed celestial body.
Keichi Asada of the Astrophysical Research Institute of the Central Academy of Sciences in Taiwan said: “With this study, we compared and analyzed images of the M87 black hole, which is the largest supermassive black hole, and the Sagittarius black hole, which is the largest supermassive black hole, the smallest supermassive black hole. We can test it in more detail.”
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