It’s here at last:Just revealed! After five years of calculations and analysis of thousands of images, researchers have finally succeeded in visualizing arc A*.
The saga of this tech feat began with a surveillance campaign in April 2017 byVery long base, also called VLBI. This monitoring technology consists of the simultaneous use of several In the world, in order to create the equivalent of a giant Earth size. By doing so, the Get the angular that sets the smallest Researchers can observe them in detail, they become so small that many normally invisible things become visible.
It is with M87 * and, two black holes with similar apparent diameters, and they require a resolution that VLBI can reach. Actually, It is much larger and much more distant than Sgr A*, with 6.5 billion Solar cells and a distance of 50 million so its visible diameter from Earth is equivalent to that of Sgr A*.
A total of eightThey were used at one time, located in Chile, the United States, Mexico, Spain and ! Since then, three more Join the teamevent horizon telescope with, in particular, Greenland Telescope It is located northwest of Greenland and is the second observatory of IRAM It is located in the French Alps. This process requires a lot of preparation, because the synchronization must be perfect: radio telescopes have also been used. , which causes a delay of only one second every 10 million years. The only monitoring campaign in this way took place in 2017, more precisely from 4 to 14 April 2017. Then came the analysis of data, and here everything became complicated!
This stage is as difficult as the first. In total, more than 350 people took part in this technological feat. And so, in 2019,It was revealed, but the arc A*, which the scientific community was also expecting, was not.
The reason for the delay: the diameter of the black hole is too small!
Since Sgr A* is much smaller, the acoustic materialIt turns much faster, at a frantic pace of rotation in just 4 minutes and 30! Thus, during the monitoring campaign, the researchers observed these differences in real time, so to speak, because the campaigns lasted several hours, several times a day, for about two weeks.
So many means have been implemented to get a static image of Sgr A*, in particular a huge library of black hole simulations that have been compared with real images. All of these calculations also require what is calledwhich enables unimaginable computing power, with tens of thousands of .
« These rapid changes in luminosity and composition around Sgr A* generate a data set much more complex than that of M87*, so we had to develop new toolssimulation and analysis gases to generate a sharp imagesaid Frederic Gith, a researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research and deputy director of the Institute for Millimeter Radio Astronomy (IRAM). Which explains why it took us three more years to visualize Sgr A*. »
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