Thursday, May 12, 2022

Scientists stage a mysterious event heralding the discovery of the galaxy

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Astronomers have some news to share about the galaxy we call home, but they’re keeping it tight until the unveiling scheduled for Thursday.

In an April 28 announcement, astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (Eso) and the Event Horizon Telescope project announced an event announcing “groundbreaking Milky Way results” from the telescope project. The event will be held in person at 2:00pm GMT, 9:00am EDT at Eso’s headquarters in Garching near Munich, Germany and will be broadcast on the this websiteand youtube channel.

The announcement offered few details, but based on previous work by the organizations involved, Thursday’s revelation may have to do with the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way.

Eso is an international organization made up of more than a dozen member nations that operates powerful telescopes observing the sky from the southern hemisphere in Chile, including the Very Large Telescope. The Very Large Telescope has directly imaged exoplanets and shed light on the shape of the swirling discs of material falling into supermassive black holes.

The Event Horizon Telescope project is a global network of radio telescopes working together to study black holes, specifically the supermassive black holes at the centers of distant galaxy Messier 87 and our own Milky Way.

In 2019, the project produced the first image of a black hole – M87* – a black circle cloaked in fiery orange and compared in popular culture to the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the rings movies.

The black hole’s circular shadow also provided further confirmation of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which predicts a circular shadow.

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