Purdue professor discusses black hole image

A team of international scientists made history when they showed off the first photo ever taken of a black hole, Wednesday.

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 11:47 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A team of international scientists made history when they showed off the first photo ever taken of a black hole, Wednesday.

Capturing the image took a series of days where the weather was just right all across the world. A black hole is an area of space so deep that nothing, not even light, can escape its gravitational pull.

Albert Einstein first came up with the idea almost 100 years ago in his theory of relativity. This one was discovered more than 50,000,000 light-years away from earth.

Purdue Professor of Physics Matthew Lister said the fact that the image came out so clear is remarkable.

"It's actual apparent size on the sky is absolutely tiny. The equivalent would be if you held up a baseball on the moon, that's the actual size of what you would see an astronaut holding up a baseball, that angular size. This represents a tremendous achievement to be able to produce an image of particularly that resolution but also of an incredibly fascinating object," said Lister.

He added seeing a century old theory play out, makes him excited to see what could come next.

"Einstein himself didn't really like the concept of black holes, the idea of space time collapsing into a singularity that didn't really appeal to him but once again he ended up being right," said Lister.

Lister predicts this image could help lead to other discoveries.

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