Science/Tech

Black Hole Hunters Prepare 'Groundbreaking’ Report For The World Next Week

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), an international initiative launched to capture the first-ever image of a black hole, is set to surprise the world with a "groundbreaking result" to be announced next week.

Members of the project will host a press conference along with the U.S. National Science Foundation on April 10 at The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to reveal their first findings. 

EHT Director Sheperd Doeleman will speak at the event along with top officials from the universities of Arizona, Waterloo and Amsterdam and other astronomy experts from Europe. The team will also hold related press conferences in Brussels, Chile, Shanghai, Taiwan and Japan, Space.com reported Tuesday.

The space community expects the announcement to give the first official image of a black hole. 

EHT uses radio dishes around the globe to create a virtual telescope about the size of Earth. The initiative mainly aims to provide an image of the area around a black hole, especially its event horizon, where nothing, not even light, can escape. 

"This capability would open a new window on the study of general relativity in the strong field regime, accretion and outflow processes at the edge of a black hole, the existence of event horizons, and fundamental black-hole physics," the EHT team said in a statement. "Over the coming years, the international EHT team will mount observing campaigns of increasing resolving power and sensitivity, aiming to bring black holes into focus."

The EHT team has been looking at two supermassive black holes found in the heart of the Milky Way galaxy and the giant elliptical galaxy, called M87.

Black Holes: What We Know

Black holes today remain as some of the strangest objects found in space. Albert Einstein first mentioned its potential existence in 1916 as part of his general theory of relativity, according to Space.com

American astronomer John Wheeler then coined the term "black hole" in 1967 based on earlier theories. A few years later, the world confirmed the presence of the object in 1971.

The first identified black hole was called Cygnus X-1. In 2015, astronomers made the first detection of gravitational waves around the mysterious hole using the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

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