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Thu May 12, 2022, 09:27 AM

Supermassive black hole seen at the center of our galaxy

Source: Washington Post

Astronomers on Thursday unveiled the first image of a supermassive black hole that roils the center of our galaxy, its gravity so powerful that it bends space and time and forms a glowing ring of light with eternal darkness at the core. The black hole, seen from Earth near the constellation Sagittarius, has a mass equal to more than 4 million suns.


An image released by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration on May 12 shows a black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. (AP)

Feryal Ozel, a University of Arizona astronomer, described the achievement as "the first direct image of the gentle giant in the center of our galaxy.” “We find a bright ring surrounding the black hole shadow," she said. "It seems that black holes like doughnuts.” The image was captured by a global consortium of astronomical observatories, known as the Event Horizon Telescope. Three years ago the project produced the first image of a black hole, in the galaxy Messier 87.

The black hole at the center of the Milky Way is more than a thousand times smaller than the one in Messier 87. But cosmically speaking, it is the one closest to home. The unveiling of the image at the National Press Club in Washington was part of simultaneous media events on multiple continents. The image was kept under wraps pending an unveiling at precisely 9:07 a.m. Eastern time.

“They are the most mysterious objects in the universe, and they hold the keys to large-scale structure in the observable cosmos,” said Sheperd Doeleman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and director of the Event Horizon Telescope, in an interview in advance of Thursday’s briefing.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2022/05/11/black-hole-milky-way/



Figured that is what the "announcement" would be but congrats for capturing that!

41 replies, 2611 views

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Reply Supermassive black hole seen at the center of our galaxy (Original post)
BumRushDaShow May 12 OP
ArizonaLib May 12 #1
ruet May 12 #2
Delphinus May 12 #3
ruet May 12 #4
LastDemocratInSC May 12 #5
BumRushDaShow May 12 #9
ruet May 12 #11
BumRushDaShow May 12 #12
Act_of_Reparation May 12 #29
Igel May 12 #36
sakabatou May 12 #6
BumRushDaShow May 12 #10
ruet May 12 #13
sakabatou May 12 #25
ProfessorGAC May 12 #32
Igel May 12 #37
Noahv May 12 #7
Act_of_Reparation May 12 #30
Brenda May 12 #8
BumRushDaShow May 12 #14
Brenda May 12 #15
BumRushDaShow May 12 #16
ruet May 12 #18
BumRushDaShow May 12 #19
Brenda May 12 #21
BumRushDaShow May 12 #24
ruet May 12 #26
BumRushDaShow May 12 #27
Brenda May 12 #28
BumRushDaShow May 12 #38
Brenda May 12 #40
Brenda May 12 #20
BumRushDaShow May 12 #22
electric_blue68 May 13 #41
Akoto May 12 #23
AllaN01Bear May 12 #34
Oscarthegreat May 12 #17
Act_of_Reparation May 12 #31
ruet May 12 #33
Initech May 12 #35
JudyM May 12 #39

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 10:12 AM

1. That is mind blowing!

Just when I think I know a lot about things around us, I am reminded that we don't know a lot more than we know.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 10:21 AM

2. Poor Science Reporting.

You are not looking at the Sgr A*. You are looking at the hot accretion disk surrounding it. The actual black hole cannot be seen. Shame on the scientists for allowing this reporting to flourish as well. You may think that's trivial and say "who cares" but it's fundamental in conceptualizing the immense mass of these objects.

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Response to ruet (Reply #2)

Thu May 12, 2022, 10:31 AM

3. Thank you

I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

I wonder if scientists allow this lazy reporting to happen because they are simply happy to be covered.

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Response to Delphinus (Reply #3)

Thu May 12, 2022, 10:50 AM

4. I Think That's What it Is.

They would be the first ones to correct you for making such an error however.

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Response to ruet (Reply #2)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:10 AM

5. The accretion disk was my first thought, too.

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Response to ruet (Reply #2)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:27 AM

9. As someone who is an ACS-certified chemist

who had my share of physics (3 courses required), I do know that the whole concept of a "black hole" includes the fact that the gravitational forces that result from whatever collapsed are so strong that the "visible" portion of the EM spectrum cannot escape it (and thus "seen" ). But you can "'see' where it might be" based on what is surrounding it and getting sucked in (plus detect anything from other parts of the EM spectrum that might get spewed).

I just grabbed that article because the breaking news hit my ipad first.

We have seen "science reporting" absolutely butchered with respect to COVID-19 for the past 2 years, so it is to be expected.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #9)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:32 AM

11. You Can Also "See" It By...

tracking the orbits of the stars gravitationally bound to it.

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Response to ruet (Reply #11)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:37 AM

12. Yes

and EM waves/particles that get bent around it...

https://news.stanford.edu/2021/07/28/first-detection-light-behind-black-hole/

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Response to ruet (Reply #2)

Thu May 12, 2022, 04:01 PM

29. I don't think that's technically correct, either.

I'm a little hazy on the details, but I think Event Horizon detects photon spheres, not accretion disks.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #29)

Thu May 12, 2022, 07:13 PM

36. Mostly the accretion disk.

The photon ring itself isn't very wide--might at times be bright, but the accretion disk is a lot brighter if the beast is eating.

Note that the upper and lower loops on that diagram are also the accretion disk--you see the underside and topside of the disk in back of the black hole because spacetime's bent so much.

Of course, that's going to be simplified for most black holes that are rotating. The suckers often have high-speed jets of matter shooting out, from where the accretion disk material gets pulled up towards the poles.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:14 AM

6. Isn't this old news? Or is it just an update?

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Response to sakabatou (Reply #6)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:32 AM

10. It's an update

where they finally released the image "to the public".

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Response to ruet (Reply #13)

Thu May 12, 2022, 02:33 PM

25. Ah, yes, that.

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Response to sakabatou (Reply #6)

Thu May 12, 2022, 05:27 PM

32. I Think It's Proof Of What Was Presumed To Be True

The fact that a SMBH was at the galactic center has been observationally & theoretically established for a long time.
I think the news is the spectacular photo.

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Response to ProfessorGAC (Reply #32)

Thu May 12, 2022, 07:16 PM

37. That would be Andrea Ghez

and the UCLA Galactic Center Group.

Good work they did, tracking the positions of nearby stars and wowing the audience with a movie of how the locations of those stars near Sg A* changed over the course of just a few years.

It had been suspected, but controverted. After that animated GIF/video, anything that could do that but which wasn't a black hole ... Had to have all the properties of a black hole.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:16 AM

7. How can the be bent?

Interesting.

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Response to Noahv (Reply #7)

Thu May 12, 2022, 04:03 PM

30. Gravity.

Extremely massive objects warp spacetime. A black hole distorts space so much you an actually see behind it.

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Response to Brenda (Reply #8)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:49 AM

14. ...



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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #14)

Thu May 12, 2022, 11:53 AM

15. The Doomsday Machine

I posted is from TOS. Just saw it again recently and the pic in your OP reminded me of it.

It's very cool to see the image, thanks!

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Response to Brenda (Reply #15)

Thu May 12, 2022, 12:24 PM

16. I have posted many times on DU

that "The Doomsday Machine" is my #1 favorite TOS episode (followed by "Amok Time" ).

William Windom did a fantastic job scaring the hell out of me.

I think that was the only original series episode that had a major score composed just for it.



ETA - that other video was from a ST Voyager episode that dealt with a black hole (and "quantum singularity" ).

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #16)

Thu May 12, 2022, 12:49 PM

18. As A Child...

that episode, along with "The Corbomite Maneuver", grabbed me and never let go.

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Response to ruet (Reply #18)

Thu May 12, 2022, 01:07 PM

19. Good to see people "love" episodes other than

"City on the Edge of Forever" that keeps getting trotted out over and over.

Also liked "The Ultimate Computer" (Daystrom for the win ).

But I think the two that a number of the "middle" series (haven't seen the newest series on CBS's stream thing) have included some reference/related episode that was a nod to or follow-on of "The Trouble With Tribbles" and "Mirror, Mirror" (mirror universe), including both done by DS9 versions.





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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #19)

Thu May 12, 2022, 01:29 PM

21. SO much new ST to watch these days on Paramount

Years ago I complained why don't they make another ST? Now we have Discovery, Picard and Strange New Worlds as well as a couple of animated shows I haven't watched.

They're all different but it's fun to see the actors from previous series. Watched premier of SNW the other day and the fucking Trump Mob Insurrection made a cameo - in a very, very bad way!

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Response to Brenda (Reply #21)

Thu May 12, 2022, 01:39 PM

24. I know

I have been refusing to "pay for it".

What I would give to see the return of Q though. No one can out-do John de Lancie when it comes to "theatrics" (except maybe William Campbell).

(still debating it)



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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #24)

Thu May 12, 2022, 02:59 PM

26. Based on What People I Trust Have Said About Any of the New Treks;...

save your money.

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Response to ruet (Reply #26)

Thu May 12, 2022, 03:18 PM

27. That's why I haven't indulged yet

Every time I look up, there's another one. The same thing has been happening with the Star Wars franchise on Disney+.

I am still floored that "Boba Fett" went from a minor character that appeared for a few minutes onscreen in 2 of the original SW movies, and now has his own series.

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Response to ruet (Reply #26)

Thu May 12, 2022, 03:59 PM

28. ANY of the new Treks?

Strange New Worlds just premiered a week ago. I found it to be closer to TOS than the others - prequel and all. Actor playing Pike is quite good.

The new Treks are all very different from the previous ones in some ways that are excellent and some that are not. The good ways are that glass ceilings are broken for many people including black women, homosexuals, women in general, people with disabilities and fat people.

The negative things that I have experienced watching them are: some episodes rely too much on CGI over good scripts. Some episodes are so glacially slow moving (Picard especially) that I've fallen asleep. TOS was totally episodic while the new ones are a blend of episodic/serial stories which is better I think.

The lack of good writers for shows has been happening for decades. It's too bad the producers spend the money on CGI paychecks rather than on great writers.

I'd say it's definitely worth a few bucks to sign up for a streaming channel to watch them and then cancel if you find nothing else there worth paying for.



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Response to Brenda (Reply #28)

Thu May 12, 2022, 07:19 PM

38. What probably "handcuffs" them is the fact that the franchise is owned by a "broadcast" network- CBS

vs an indie network like a Netflix, so they can only go so far. It was bad enough when DS9 went the direction that it did "against type", although it ended up doing some excellent story arcs - one of the best being "In the Pale Moonlight" and Sisko's monologue -

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #38)

Thu May 12, 2022, 08:01 PM

40. I think it's more like

younger people can create the special effects for cheap whereas a gifted, experienced writer, especially those in unions expect a certain amount of pay and benefits, rightly so.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #16)

Thu May 12, 2022, 01:17 PM

20. Didn't know that about the music

It's stuck in my head now. Have you seen the remastered version? It's on Amazon Prime not sure where else. They updated the seriously clunky special effects and this particular one is so much better. The machine actually looks a little scary not just like a giant dog turd.

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Response to Brenda (Reply #20)

Thu May 12, 2022, 01:33 PM

22. From what I understand

all of the music in that episode was "original" and only used for it.

And I have all kinds of "remastered" versions of TOS. I even have the Sci-fi Channel (now "SyFy" ) "Special Edition remastered" version that ran around 1998 - 1999 (all the episodes on a huge pile of tapes in my basement). That airing included hosting/commentary by either Shatner or Nimoy. Plus have a "remastered" set on DVDs (might be the blueray ones).



I have all 700+ episodes from the first 6 series (include the Animated one) that ran from 1966 - 2001, on VHS - the post-TOS/TAS ones all recorded at the time of their airing and the earliest ones when they were re-run on various cable channels.

And I always thought of the "planet killer" as "a fish with its head cut off".

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Reply #16)

Fri May 13, 2022, 03:14 AM

41. oooh, boy as a young artist back then I thought the visual of the dm was sort of lame

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Response to Brenda (Reply #8)

Thu May 12, 2022, 01:35 PM

23. I was gonna make a Star Trek V joke, but you beat me to the theme... nt

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 12:29 PM

17. Lazy headline

The word 'seen' should be replaced with the word 'detected'. This headline is an oxymoron of course since a black hole cannot be seen, since no light can escape it. If a person could physically be within a millimeter of a BH they wouldn't see it, regardless of how massive it is. Of course, some of the impact a BH would have on other objects can be seen, like warped light.

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Response to Oscarthegreat (Reply #17)

Thu May 12, 2022, 04:06 PM

31. I think that's kind of pedantic to be honest.

You can't see a singularity. But you can see accretion disks and photon spheres, the latter of which is what we're looking at here. Do we consider these structures part of the black hole? If so, then I think it is fine to say the black hole was "seen"... at least in the sense that some of its parts were observed.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #31)

Thu May 12, 2022, 05:48 PM

33. Sorry, Scientists and Science Type Are The Masters of the Pedantic.

They'll wave their finger at you over the slightest transgression. ...and that's the way it should be. They don't get a pass here because it's their pet project.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 07:03 PM

35. Supermassive Black Hole!!!



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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu May 12, 2022, 07:53 PM

39. Exactly the size that Einstein predicted?! Confirms his theory of relativity...

The picture also confirms Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity: The black hole is precisely the size that Einstein’s equations dictate. It is about the size of the orbit of Mercury around our sun.
… 4 million times more massive than our sun.
https://apnews.com/article/black-hole-milky-way-image-e482ee7b773b1053bcb296bbd9abea16

Does the term “genius” even do him justice?

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