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Black hole image supports Einstein’s theory of gravity, disappointing scientists looking for cracks

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The first image of Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.Collaboration with the Event Horizon telescope

  • An international team unveiled the first-ever image of the Milky Way’s black hole on Thursday.

  • The researchers say the image helps confirm the predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

  • The same instrument, called the Event Horizon Telescope, captured the first-ever image of a black hole in 2019.

A global research team with the Event Horizon Telescope has captured light around our very own supermassive black hole, Sagittarius A*, revealing its first-ever image. The new postcard from the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, helps confirm the predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

“We were amazed at how well the size of the ring matched the predictions of Einstein’s theory of general relativity,” Geoffrey Bower, EHT collaborator and astronomer at Academia Sinica, told Taipei, in a statement. “These unprecedented observations have dramatically improved our understanding of what is happening at the very center of our galaxy and offer new insights into how these giant black holes interact with their environment.”

Black hole image supports Einstein’s theory of gravity, disappointing scientists looking for cracks

 | Breaking News Updates

A manuscript showing the first calculations of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity at Christie’s auction house in Paris in 2021.Alain Jocard/Getty Images

A century ago, Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes, points in space where gravity is so strong that neither particles nor light can escape. Over the past hundred years, scientists have repeatedly put Einstein’s theory of general relativity to the test, trying to find situations or circumstances in which it proved insufficient. They haven’t found any yet.

A black hole’s event horizon allows researchers to observe gravity at its extreme, and thus see if Einstein’s theory of general relativity holds up. Einstein’s theories about how matter behaves around black holes have consistently passed cosmic tests, and Thursday’s portraits of Sagittarius A* are no exception: Einstein even predicted the symmetrical shape the scientists photographed.

“Taking a picture of the black hole at the center of our galaxy is an incredible achievement. It shows that Einstein was right, once again,” said Duncan Brown, professor of physics at Syracuse University, who did not not participated in the cosmic photo shoot. said in a statement. “The image shows hot gas swirling around the black hole at the heart of our galaxy. The gas is moving almost as fast as the speed of light,” Brown added.

Black hole image supports Einstein’s theory of gravity, disappointing scientists looking for cracks

 | Breaking News Updates

The first ever image of a black hole, by the Event Horizon Telescope, released in April 2019.Collaboration between the Event Horizon Telescope and Maunakea Observatories via AP

The new image isn’t the first time researchers have been able to take an image of a supermassive black hole. In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration released the first image of a black hole, called M87*, at the center of the more distant Messier 87 galaxy. The images of the two black holes look alike, even though the Milky Way’s black hole is 1,000 times smaller.

As more black holes get photographed, researchers can continue to probe Einstein’s theories for cracks.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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