Astronomers announced on Wednesday that at last, they had captured an image of the unobservable: a black hole, a cosmic abyss so deep and dense that not even light can escape it. Not only is it an important milestone in the astronomical world, but also an extraordinary achievement for mankind.
On the evening of the 10th, the Academia Sinica held a press conference with five countries including Belgium, Japan, China, the United States, and Chile to publicize the first black hole image in human history that was "directly observed" using the "Event Horizon Telescope" (EHT). Not only is it an important milestone in the astronomical world, but also an extraordinary achievement for mankind. The image looks like a fuzzy fireball in the dark, with a black shadow in the fireball that looks like an orange circle.
Liao Junzhi, dean of the Academia Sinica, pointed out that the black hole is an all-dark object, the light cannot escape from the black hole, the black hole boundary is called the "event horizon", and the "event vision telescope" (EHT) is an international cooperation project composed of telescopes all over the world. The array, which forms a telescope with a diameter equal to the Earth, is designed to obtain the first black hole image in history.
Liao Junzhi emphasized that the research results of the EHT project are the first time that human beings can verify the existence of black holes in the universe. The Academia Sinica has been involved in the observation of EHT projects for several years and is one of the main members of the project, especially The Greenland Telescope built in the Arctic in 2018. This is the most valuable contribution that Taiwan has brought to the international community as a part of the global village. He said: "The Academia Sinica Astronomical Institute is a major member of the EHT project and a partner of the East Asia Observatory. It is equivalent to 13 members. We have two seats. The Academia Sinica is also responsible for the construction and operation of the EHT four telescopes. Through this press conference, we hope to tell the people that Taiwan is already one of the important scientific discoveries of this century and has a place."
The researcher of the Academia Sinica's Institute of Astronomy, Asada, pointed out that the existing instruments could not shoot the black hole "itself" because the black hole is a dark object, but by shooting the black hole shadow, the black hole can be indirectly confirmed, because the black hole will form a large gravity wave. When the light is deflected by extremely strong gravity, a "shadow" or "silhouette" is formed, and the shadow is formed into an image, which is the purpose of the event vision telescope. Therefore, the event vision telescope is actually capturing the black hole's "shadow".