City astronomers marvel celestial breakthrough

First ever image of black hole took collaboration of five continents, 40 different countries and almost 200 astronomers and use of eight different telescopes to get the picture.

By Author  |  Published: 11th Apr 2019  12:10 amUpdated: 1st Jun 2019  6:38 pm
celestial breakthrough
Source: Twitter @EU_Commission

Hyderabad: For a long time, there were imaginations on what could be the shape of a black hole. On Wednesday, however, as astronomers revealed the actual image of the black hole, taken for the first time by a global network of telescopes, physicists, science enthusiasts, and amateur astronomers from Hyderabad marveled at the celestial breakthrough.

Many were overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the achievement of the array of telescopes spread around the globe and dubbed as Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

“More than the picture, it’s the method in which they actually achieved the picture is great. It took collaboration of five continents, 40 different countries and almost 200 astronomers and use of eight different telescopes to get the picture. One should appreciate the worldwide collaboration that went into it,” says Dr Priya Hasan, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU).

Amateur astronomers tracking the Event Horizon Telescope pointed out that technically it was very tough to take such a picture. “Imagine trying to take picture of a ping pong ball sitting on top of Mt Everest from the equator. You really need very large telescopes and that’s why so many of them were used,” says Coordinator, Astronomy Club of University of Hyderabad (UoH), Teja Teppala.

The EHT collaboration is composed of many radio telescope facilities around the world coming together to produce high-sensitivity and high-resolution telescope.

“Multiple telescopes situated in different parts of the world observed the object at the same time simulating a telescope of very large aperture which can be compared to the size of the planet. With all the telescopes synchronized, it was possible to get all the essential data in phase in order to make the image,” explains Teja.