Astronomers Getting Ready to Take The First-Ever Photo of a Black Hole

This is exciting. If everything goes well, we may get the first-ever photo of a black hole really soon. A big number of astronomers are getting ready to achieve this feat using a global network of telescopes:

Given the rapid pace of technical progress in the field of (sub)mm Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), the prospects for observing and imaging a black hole event horizon with Schwarzschild radius resolution are excellent.

The global network is called the Event Horizon Telescope. The scientists who are going to take part in the hunt are meeting these days to establish their objectives and methodology in Tucson, Arizona.

The observation—which has never been achieved—will be crucial to confirm certain aspects of Einstein's general relativity theory. If the researchers expectations are met, it will look pretty awesome, with a bright mass of swirling gas and dust getting into a shadow hole of nothingness. Just like in the movies!

According to the organization, the next observing run will take place from March 14 to March 22. Four telescopes will join forces: the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy on the Inyo Mountains, California, the Arizona Radio Observatory, the Submillimeter Telescope near Safford, Airzona, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and the Submillimeter Array atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. [Event Horizon Telescope]