Huh, So That’s A Black Hole

Astronomers have managed to capture a photo of black hole, marking a massive turning point in our knowledge of the universe’s most mysterious objects and heralding a new era in scientific understanding. But my take? The photo is kinda lame. Bit blurry! Yawn!

The black hole itself is roughly 40 billion kilometres across – so, pretty big – and located in a distant galaxy 500 million trillion kilometres away. Basically, the likelihood of it coming anywhere near us is zero, in case that was something you were worried about.

The photo was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight linked telescopes spanning the globe in locations as disparate as AntarcticaChile and Spain. It was a precise operation requiring clear skies over all the telescopes and very very delicate coordination using atomic clocks.

If you want an explanation of how it all went down, you could do no better than seeing our resident handsome science expert Alan Duffy explaining it on ABC News Breakfast while barely being able to stop himself from leaping out of his seat with pure joy.

Computer scientist Katie Bouman has been credited with spearheading the development of the crucial new algorithm which helped pull the whole operation together. Turns out photographing a black hole trillions of kilometres away is fairly complex! Who would have thought!

Anyway, that’s what we got. A reddish-orange smudge representing basically the culmination of all scientific and astronomical development of the past few centuries. Very nice!