Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics Awarded to Event Horizon Telescope Team

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Almost 30 MIT-partnered scientists will partake in the prize, while David Jay Julius ’77 successes Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences; assistant professor of mphysics Max Metlitski shares New Horizons prize with Xie Chen PhD ’12 and Michael Levin PhD ’06.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, including researchers and specialists from MIT, will get a 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. The group is being respected for making the principal direct location of a black hole. Assistant professor of physics Max Metlitski and a few MIT alumni  are likewise accepting honors from the Breakthrough Prize Foundation.

The $3 million fundamental physics prize will be shared similarly with the 347 EHT scientists from around the globe who co-created the six papers distributed on April 10, 2019, which revealed the identification of the supermassive black hole at the core of Messier 87, or M87, a system inside the Virgo galaxy cluster.

The new laureates will be perceived at an honors function in Mountain View, California, on Nov. 3.

Source: Event Horizon Telescope Awarded Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics

The Very First Picture of Black Hole Ignites New Era of Astrophysics

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The First Ever Real Image of a Black Hole

First Picture of Black hole

The first image of a black hole, from the galaxy Messier 87.CreditCreditEvent Horizon Telescope Collaboration, via National Science Foundation

A global system of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope focused in on the supermassive beast in the galaxy M87 to make this first-since forever image of a black hole.

Atacama Event Horizon Telescope
Google first black hole image

Google celebrates First Image of Black hole

"We have seen what we thought was unseeable. We have seen and snapped a photo of a black hole," Sheperd Doeleman, EHT Director and astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., said in Washington, D.C., at one of seven simultaneous news meetings. The outcomes were likewise distributed in six papers in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

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“We’ve been concentrating black holes so long, once in a while it’s anything but difficult to overlook that none of us have really observed one,” France Cordova, executive of the National Science Foundation, said in the Washington, D.C., news meeting. Seeing one “is a Herculean assignment,” she said.


That is on the grounds that black holes are famously difficult to see. Their gravity is extreme to the point that nothing, not by any means light, can escape over the limit at a black hole’s edge, known as the occasion skyline. Be that as it may, some black holes, particularly supermassive ones abiding in galaxies, emerge by insatiably accumulating splendid disks of gas and other material. The EHT picture uncovers the shadow of M87’s black hole on its gradual addition disc. Showing up as a fluffy, lopsided ring, it discloses out of the blue a dim pit of one of the galaxy’s most secretive objects.


“That is awesome,” says physicist Clifford Will of the University of Florida in Gainesville who isn’t on the EHT group. “Having the capacity to really observe this shadow and to identify it is a colossal initial step.”


The picture lines up with desires for what a black hole should look like dependent on Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicts how spacetime is twisted by the outrageous mass of a black hole. The image is “one increasingly solid bit of proof supporting the presence of black holes. What’s more, that, obviously, checks general relativity,” Will says.


Prior examinations have tried general relativity by taking a gander at the movements of stars (SN: 8/18/18, p. 12) or gas clouds (SN: 11/24/18, p. 16) close to a black hole, however never at its edge. “It’s at least somewhat great,” says. Tiptoe any nearer and you’d be inside the black hole — unfit to report back on the aftereffects of any trials.


“Black hole conditions are a feasible spot where general relativity would separate,” says EHT colleague Feryal Özel, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. So testing general relativity in such outrageous conditions could uncover deviations from Einstein’s forecasts.


Because this first picture maintains general relativity “doesn’t mean general relativity is totally fine,” she says. Numerous physicists imagine that general relativity won’t be the final word on gravity since it’s contrary with another basic physics hypothesis, quantum mechanics, which portrays physics on little scales.


The picture additionally gives another estimation of the black hole’s weight. Evaluations have extended between 3.5 billion and 7.22 billion times the mass of the sun, however new EHT estimations demonstrate that its mass is about 6.5 billion solar masses.


EHT prepared its sights on both M87’s black hole and Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Be that as it may, it turns out, it was simpler to picture M87’s beast. That black hole is in excess of 50 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo, around multiple times similarly as Sgr A*. But at the same time it’s around multiple times as huge as the Milky Way’s monster, which gauges what could be compared to approximately 4 million suns. That additional weight about adjust M87’s distance. “The size in the sky is pretty darn comparative,” says EHT colleague Feryal Özel.


Because of its gravitational oomph, gases twirling around M87’s black hole move and differ in brilliance more gradually than they do around the Milky Way’s. “Amid a solitary perception, Sgr A* doesn’t sit still, while M87 does,” says Özel, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “Simply dependent on this ‘Does the black hole sit still and posture for me?’ perspective, we knew M87 would coordinate more.”


After more information examination, the group would like to tackle some long-standing riddles about black holes, for example, how M87’s behemoth regurgitates a brilliant stream of charged particles a large number of light-years into space.


This first picture resembles the “shot heard round the world” that commenced the American Revolutionary War, says Harvard University astrophysicist Avi Loeb who isn’t on the EHT group. “It’s huge; it gives a look at what the future may hold, yet it doesn’t give every one of us the data that we need.”


More information could likewise bring an eagerly awaited look at Sgr A*. “The Milky Way is an altogether different galaxy from M87,” Loeb says. Examining such unique situations could uncover more subtleties of how black holes carry on.


Tragically, the following take a gander at the M87 and Milky Way behemoths should pause.


Researchers got a fortunate stretch of good climate at all eight locales that made up the Event Horizon Telescope in 2017. At that point awful weather in 2018 and technical difficulties, which dropped the 2019 watching run, frustrated the group.


Fortunately by 2020, there will be no less than 10 observatories to work with. The Greenland Telescope joined the consortium in 2018, and the Kitt Peak National Observatory outside Tucson, Ariz., will join EHT in 2020. That ought to give the additional eyes expected to bring black holes into significantly more prominent core interest.