#BlackHoleDay has been trending all over the internet since last week as Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project is expected to unveil a photograph of a black hole to the public in the next few hours.
Science happens every day, but this is one of the huge ones. Let us take some time this Wednesday to think about the vast mighty of this universe and what people are capable of achieving with a hand from science. Interested in astrophysics or not, everyone surfing away through the internet or into science fiction movies might have come across the term black hole.
Black holes always have been a subject of fascination. It is said that fact is sometimes unusual than fiction, and nowhere is that truer than in the matter of black holes. Black holes are peculiar than anything imagined up by science fiction writers, but they are firmly matters of scientific fact.
Since 2006, radio telelectroscopes around the globe have strived united to understand these dark, cumbersome, and powerful entities at the hearts of two different galaxies. The EHD project’s ultimate goal is to take pictures of the event horizon of the black hole, which can be stated as the point-of-no-return of a black hole and it turned out to be successful.
Black holes present an essential tool for investigating and experimenting with the basic laws of the universe. Before diving any deeper into the subject let’s try and understand what black holes really are,
What are Black holes?
It is understood and proven law that all objects exert an attractive gravitational force which depends on their mass. Now, visualize an object with a very large mass which is compressed into such a small volume that the gravitational field created is robust enough to deter anything from escaping its grips – even light. This eccentric concept intrigues everyone, in particular, astrophysicists who hypothesize about the nature of matter, space and time, and scientists who look for real black holes out in space.
The rubber sheet example
It is one of the best ways to understand black holes.
Imagine space-time as a rubber sheet: any object placed on the rubber sheet will produce a “dent” in the sheet that depends on the object’s mass, and will cause any nearby smaller object to fall towards it. Now imagine an object so compacted and of very high mass that it pushes the space-time rubber sheet itself down to a point resulting in a curvature so deep and strong towards which any nearby object including light gets pulled in. This area of impact or pull is the event horizon – the point of no return where gravity is so strong that neither light nor matter can escape is a called black hole.
What would happen if you fall inside a black hole?
You might have been wondering what will happen if you fall inside a black hole. It is fascinating to think about falling infinitely into a black nothing, but I am sorry if you don’t feel happy at the end of this passage.
If you were to fall towards a relatively small black hole, you would feel the effects of gravitational forces and your body would be stretched out until you were ripped apart – the process is called spaghettification.
If you fall into a super massive black hole, your body outlasts whole, soon thereafter you reach the center, and you are mashed into a single point of immense density. You have become a part of the black hole. Unfortunately, either way, you won’t be able to tell your friends about the experience
What’s the future?
Now black holes are beyond the abilities of today’s technology, it may be possible to utilize the attributes of black holes in future space missions. UK research groups are representing a notable role in implementing black-hole ideas into basic physics. The aim of certain experiments is to conceive and analyze conditions in the cosmos following the Big Bang.
Black-hole solutions present a potent conduit in searching for a singular theory of the universe and how it came into existence. It is still difficult to test whether the ideas are right.
On the other hand, Analog black holes inaugurate a new field of “horizon physics”, which may point to new technologies such as the formation of entangled pairs of photons as needed for quantum computing; it might also be plausible to devise a black hole laser. Some scientists have even hypothesized that black holes could act as remarkably powerful quantum computers like in sci-fi movies.
What to expect?
The Event horizon Telescope project has been termed ‘groundbreaking’ because black holes are entirely dark and it’s almost impossible to take a picture of an entity that absorbs literally everything thrown at it, including light. The Event Horizon Telescope took more than a decade to attain this point because of the complex nature of the project and also the cost involved.
Keeping all this in mind, if you expect to view a crystal-clear image of a black hole’s umbra and a growth disk you may be disappointed with EHT’s first images. The images are expected to stream live on YouTube. I’m expecting an alien in it, stay tuned and Happy #BlackHoleDay.