First black hole image looks like “blank screen”
Yesterday, the first ever image of black hole was revealed in a press conference.
The image was formed from the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight radio telescopes, spanning locations from Antarctica to Spain and Chile, and has taken over two years, cost more than $50m in a project involving more than 200 mathematicians and scientists.
Sheperd Doeleman, EHT director said: “Black holes are the most mysterious objects in the universe. We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have taken a picture of a black hole.”
The image revealed was that of the supermassive black hole, at the heart of the M87 galaxy, some 55m light years from Earth.
However, the audience reaction was….less than expected.
“It’s a blank screen!” joked one man from the back.
“Has something gone wrong with the projector?” asked a woman helpfully.
Slightly ruffled, Sheperd added, “This IS the image. Remember that a black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape!”
Nervous laughter ensued as Sheperd tried to regain the momentum of the press conference, “This is not just any old black – it is the blackest of black that has never been seen before today. The data collected was meticulously synchronised, combined and processed by an algorithm which filtered out noise caused by factors like atmospheric humidity which could have introduced some lightness or even colour.”
By this point the audience was growing restless.
“I wish someone paid me $50m to produce a blank screen,” whispered someone on the front row.
Sheperd tried to close out the press conference on a positive note, “We’re hoping to release an image of another black hole that had been recently located in the UK. Our telescopes are currently monitoring Brexit which is on the event horizon of the EU black hole from which no country can seem to escape.”
Reporter: John Spencer aka Not the Bible