We’ve never actually seen a black hole. Every image of a Black Hole you’ve seen so far is the product of an artist’s rendering.
It is extremly difficult to observe black holes are they swallow all light that surrounds them, leaving a complete absence in an image.
Black Holes are invisible cosmic monsters to us, as they seem to absorb all electromagnetic radiation, which means that none of our existing telescopes – radio, X-ray, optical, gamma-ray are able to detect them.
However, we may soon get to see what a Black Hole actually looks like thanks to scientists at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) who first hinted (back in January) that they are working on releasing the very first image of a Black Hole located int he Milky Way Galaxy.
The key to observing the black hole is the event horizon: the area located just outside a black hole at which light can no longer achieve escape velocity. This gives us a good chance of photographing it.
And the image may soon be revealed as well.
A press conference has been scheduled for April 10, 2019, where we expect to see the very first results from the so-called Event Horizon Telescope, which many believe may have finally captured the first image of a Black Hole.
According to Professor Peter Galison a scientist working on the project, the image of the Black Hole will become the “most iconic images of science.”
The historic event is going to be streamed Live on YouTube, and you can watch it here.
The only thing we know about the press conference is that scientists are set to discuss the “first result from the Event Horizon Telescope.”
Scientists have been studying two primary targets including the famous Sagittarius A*, a supermassive Black Hole located in the center of the Milky Way. Their second target is called Messier 87 in the Virgo cluster of galaxies.
Messier 87 is the home of several trillion stars, a supermassive black hole and a family of roughly 15,000 globular star clusters. For comparison, our Milky Way galaxy contains only a few hundred billion stars and about 150 globular clusters. The monstrous M87 is the dominant member of the neighboring Virgo cluster of galaxies, which contains some 2,000 galaxies.
If we actually manage to photograph a black hole, it would mark the most significant breakthrough in astronomy in half a century of studying the cosmos.