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Photographed the black hole of the Milky Way, it is the proof that there is VIDEO

2022-05-12T17:13:14.014Z

Photographed the black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and the closest, thanks to the international collaboration Event Horizon Telescope (Eht) and with the Italian contribution of the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf), National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn ), Federico II University of Naples and Cagliari. The image is definitive proof that there is a black hole in the center of the Milky Way. Published in 10 articles in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the result is announced all over the world starting from Germany, with the European Southern Observatory (Eso); in Italy by Inaf, Infn and the two universities. (HANDLE)



 Photographed the black hole at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way, and the closest, thanks to the international collaboration

Event Horizon Telescope (Eht)

and with the Italian contribution of

the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf)

,

National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn )

,

Federico II University of Naples

and

University of Cagliari

.

The image is

definitive proof

that there is a black hole in the center of the Milky Way.


Published in 10 articles in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the result is announced all over the world starting from Germany, with the European Southern Observatory (Eso);

in Italy by Inaf, Infn and the two universities.



Three years after the first photo of a black hole, that of the

galaxy M87

, the new image definitively confirms the existence of a black hole at the center of our galaxy: "

overwhelming proof

", as the researchers defined it in the press conference. organized in Rome: Ciriaco Goddi of the University of Cagliari, Inaf and Infn, Elisabetta Liuzzo Nicola Marchili and Kazi Rygl, all three of the INAF and, in connection, Mariafelicia De Laurentis of the Federico II University of Naples and Infn, and Rocco Lico of Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía and Inaf.



Also in this

historic shot

, the result of the work of

more than 300 researchers from 80 institutes around the world

that together form the

Eht Collaboration

, the black hole is not directly visible because

it does not emit light

: we see a thick

ring of bright gas

, the size it would have if it were around the Moon, surrounding a dark central region called '

shadow

'.

The ring is produced by

light distorted

by the black hole's powerful

gravity

, which has a mass equal to four million times that of the Sun and is 27,000 light-years away from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius.



Although the two black holes look very similar, that of the Milky Way is over

a thousand times smaller

and less massive than that of M87.

The photo was obtained thanks to a global network of

eight radio telescopes

, including the most powerful in the world: Alma (Atacama Large illimeter / submillimeter Array), in which Italy participates through the European Southern Observatory (Eso) and hosts the Italian node of the Alma European Regional Center at the INAF headquarters in Bologna.


The radio telescopes

work in unison

, as if they were a single

instrument the size of the Earth,

and together they were pointed at the heart of the galaxy for several nights in April

2017

, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to doing a long exposure with a camera.

Although Sagiuttarius A * is much closer than the first black hole immortalized in a photo, obtaining an image of it was much more difficult: since it is smaller, the gas rotates around it very quickly, taking a few minutes to complete an orbit around the black hole (versus the days taken by the gas around the black hole of M87).

Consequently, to obtain the image it was necessary to make an average of the numerous images obtained in the search campaign.

A dream realized after 20 years


"We have

dreamed it for 20 years

": these were the first words that accompanied the photo of the black hole of the Milky Way.

Ciriaco Goddi

, of the University of Cagliari, Inaf and the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (Infn)

pronounced them in the meeting organized in Italy at the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf) , while the image of the Milky Way on the screen

it flowed towards the heart of the galaxy, until it showed that sort of reddish “donut”, as the researchers jokingly called it.

“It is a long-awaited result because it demonstrates the correctness of the predictions contained in Einstein's theory of general relativity,” said INAF president

Marco Tavani

.

For the vice-president of the Infn,

Marco Pallavicini

, "this is a beautiful day for research because now we have geographical and visible proof of how important international collaboration in the field of research is. It is proof that Italy is present in the most important scientific results, working in synergy ".

"Obtaining this image has been our goal since the beginning of the project, conceived in 2000, and being able to reveal it to the world today repays us for many years of work", said Goddi, who has coordinated the European BlackHoleCam group since 2014. one of the projects from which the Eht Collaboration originated.

"Studies on the galactic center have made it possible over the years to perform many tests of general relativity, but the result presented today is unprecedented because it allows many original measurements on gravity and to make new science on supermassive black holes and their role in ' evolution of the Universe: we have opened the doors of a new extraordinary laboratory ", observed

Mariafelicia De Laurentis in the connection with the INAF headquarters in Rome

, of the Federico II University of Naples, Infn researcher and coordinator of the working group of the Eht collaboration on gravity tests.



To be able to capture the image it took five years of work, said

Elisabetta Liuzzo

, of the Eht and INAF collaboration, and thousands of simulations and theoretical models, added

Nicola Marchili

, of INAF.

To the point that to process the data it was necessary to use "large computing infrastructures", said

Rocco Lico

, of Inaf and the Spanish Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía.

"In this process - he added - an unprecedented library of simulated black holes was also compiled to compare with observations".



Now we look to the future and refine the tools to hunt for new observations.

Last March, for example, the Eht collaboration conducted a new observation campaign that includes three new radio telescopes.

"We are also thinking of a virtual telescope even bigger than Earth," said

Kazi Rygl

, of the Eht collaboration and INAF.

At the moment it is only a project and the idea is to use a future space telescope.



Mass, an 'extraordinary result'


An "extraordinary" result, which demonstrates how important international collaboration in the scientific field is and how important it is for Italy to be part of it: this is how the Minister of University and Research, Maria Cristina Messa, commented on the photo of the black hole at center of the Milky Way.

"It is an extraordinary result of which you - she said - we will be able to really realize only with time".


“Congratulations to the great and global work group that made it possible to reach it and, within this, to the Italian scientists.

This discovery - continued Minister Messa - demonstrates how collaborative international research networks are fundamental for everyone's progress, of how important it is for Italy to be part of them by investing, in a continuous and stable way over the years, in large research infrastructures. and data, to strengthen and implement them more and more, and how an effort should be made to preserve these networks even in times of crisis ".


The minister also noted that "this result also reminds us that we must not always be in a hurry to reach a certain result in a very short time: research has its own times and we must have the patience to adapt to these, knowing that it will always be worth it. ".



Source: ansa

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