To spy a black hole, astronomers will build a virtual globe-spanning telescope


To date, no one has ever taken a picture of a black hole

Brian Vastag
Washington Post
January 24, 2012

A dozing monster of a black hole lies at the heart of our galaxy, and a global group of astronomers wants to snap its picture.

They expect to see a ring of hot plasma swirling around a blank spot, the death dance of gas clouds getting sucked into a sphere of no return, the so-called event horizon.

“The thing we will actually see is light just barely escaping from the black hole,” said Dan Marrone, a University of Arizona astronomer involved in the new project, called the Event Horizon Telescope.

Astronomers call black holes the most baffling objects in the universe. The powerful gravity of these collapsed stars sucks in everything around them.

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