Here’s How Scientists Plan to Snap Images of a Black Hole Five Times Sharper Than the First Image

Here’s how scientists plan to photograph sharper images of a black hole

Not long ago astronomers made history as they managed to snap the very first DIRECT image of a Black Hole.

It was a major achievement and we couldn’t have asked for more.

But we want to know more about black holes, and blurry images aren’t enough.

Astronomers know they can improve our view of black holes, and the key to achieving that result is space telescopes.

The First image of a black hole. Image Credit: NSF.
The First image of a black hole. Image Credit: NSF.

Space Telescopes

Astronomers from the Radboud University, together with colleagues from the European Space Agency have recently put forth a concept for achieving just that.

The key is radio telescopes in space, reveal experts.

Their refreshing plans have recently been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The idea is simple.

We should launch two to three radio telescopes to space, that orbit our planet and observe distant black holes.

This concept is dubbed the Event Horizon Imager (EHI). In the new study, the researchers have presented the world with a simulation of what future images of distant black holes could look like if we decide to go ahead with their plan.

What the images would look like

The paper offers us simulated images of how the black hole Sagittarius A* would look if they were to take images of it by satellites like these.

Sagittarius A* is a black hole located at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Image Credit: Radboud University.
Image Credit: Radboud University.

“There are lots of advantages to using satellites instead of permanent radio telescopes on Earth, as with the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT),”  explains Freek Roelofs, a Ph.D. candidate at Radboud University and the lead author of the study.

“In space, you can make observations at higher radio frequencies, because from Earth these are filtered out by the atmosphere. The distances between the telescopes in space are also larger. This allows us to take a big step forward. We would be able to take images with a resolution more than five times what is possible with the EHT,” added Roelofs.

If we were to obtain sharper images of a black hole, we could obtain better information that could help us understand these cosmic monsters like never before.

Seeing more Black Holes

“The fact that the satellites are moving around the Earth makes for considerable advantages,” Radio Astronomy Professor Heino Falcke reveals.

“With them, you can take near perfect images to see the real details of black holes. If small deviations from Einstein’s theory occur, we should be able to see them.”

In fact, the researchers reveal that the new radio telescopes could take images of five black holes that are smaller than the black hole the Event Horizon Telescope is currently focusing on.

Radboud University
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