Thursday, January 19, 2012

First picture of the black hole


Black holes were first suggested by Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity. Decades of research and observations have provided evidence of their existence, but it has never been possible to directly observe and image one.

Taking a picture of a black hole, an object so gravitationally bound that not even photons of light can escape, sounds like an oxymoron, but astronomers this week will attempt to do just that.

What they're hoping to glimpse is something called the "event horizon" -- the swirl of matter and energy that are visible around the rim of the black hole just before it falls into the abyss.

Image: Computer-generated image of a black hole from above. Light would be visually distorted by the black hole's immense gravity. Credit: Alain Riazuelo/NASA

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Independent Professional: Experienced educator and management consultant for engineering educational institutions, researcher, trainer, technical consultant on sustainable technologies, related to cement manufacturing and characterisation, using industrial and agricultural wastes in cement and concrete, durability of concrete and fuel cell power.