Event Horizon Announcement!

If you don’t know about it, the Event Horizon Telescope group is going to make an announcement in about five minutes – you can watch it live at Space.com – where they’re expected to unveil the first ever photograph of a black hole’s event horizon.

They basically turned a network of atomic-clock synchronized radiotelescopes into one earth-sized telescope, and have been taking data for a couple of years. Should be neat!


Me want the pics!

Don’t bore us; get to the chorus!

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It’s too bad it’s not clearer, but its a start.


Looks like bigfoot to me.

Don’t worry, it’ll be clearer when they try again next year.


I was wondering how long it would take for someone to post the xkcd cartoon :slight_smile:

My brother has been working on the instrumentation for a couple of the telescopes, he even got to go to the South Pole to install some equipment…looks like the hard work paid off


Nifty! I feel like the picture itself is underwhelming, until they explain what it took to generate it:

The other Relevant XKCD

Yowza. Color me impressed.

And perhaps the fallout from the data (thus far):

Rejoice students everywhere! No need to re-learn!

For those interested in the whole claim about “Earth-sized telescope”, it’s not too far off actually. Look up Synthetic Aperture Radar - this is the stuff of PhD theses , super nifty.

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I have a clearer picture of Event Horizon (mark 1)

20190302 132739 1DX25416 by Daniel Ernst, on Flickr


This Veritasium video provides a great explanation of how to understand what we are seeing in the picture. It’s some trippy stuff!

In terms of resolution, it helps to keep in mind that, were the distance from the Earth to the Sun shrunk down to one mm, the tape measure necessary to reach this black hole would be long enough to circle the Earth 87,000 times.

It’s 120 ly across and 55Mly away. It’s like trying to take a picture of an FRC robot in Houston…from Detroit.

This is a stunning intellectual, scientific, and engineering achievement.

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I’m waiting for James Webb quality images (as in the quality expected of James Webb but from the same system type). At least physics isn’t broken!

Physics is never broken. Sometimes our understanding of physics is lacking, but so far Einstein seems to be batting 1000.


It is truly amazing how preposterously accurate Einstein’s General Relativity has been in making truly outlandish predictions.

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I dug into radio astronomy for about 2 weeks last year. It is really interesting but also almost impossible for an amateur to accomplish anything of merit, as somewhat evidenced by the effort to gather this amazing picture. Still I’m interested in finding more time and funds to travel and see more of the professional sites and follow what I can in learning the basics of it. I had been interested in getting HS students to join the WVU pulsar search group and also to build a feedhorn with them to look at hydrogen, maybe sometime.

The amount of energy measured is immensely small and the effort to gather it is amazing. The syncing of these instruments is an extraordinary engineering feat. I briefly know of the efforts of amateurs to use 3 dishes in concert and that alone was impressive but underwhelming compared to this. Look forward to seeing what more this collaboration produces.

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XKCD yet again.

Dang, this thing is huge.