First photo of a black hole
For the first time a group of researchers has succeeded in producing a photo of a black hole. The image was obtained using data from the global network of radio telescopes Event Horizon. Black holes are extremely massive and exert colossal gravitational force. What does the photo mean for science and humanity?
Stephen Hawking would have liked this
These pictures of a black hole are nothing short of a sensation, writes science editor Ralf Krauter in Deutschlandfunk:
“This fascinating insight into the nature of the cosmos is worth all the effort that went into it. To know that out there in the universe corpses of burned-out stars millions of times more massive than our sun suck up everything that comes near them expands our horizon. To know that clocks would stand still if they came too close to a black hole changes our idea of the flow of time. One could say that today the world's radio astronomers have shown us a snapshot of a door to eternity. Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist who studied black holes his whole life long, would certainly have enjoyed this moment.”
The face of the abyss
It's our fear of the unknown that makes these holes black, writes author Emanuela Audisio in La Repubblica:
“In Freudian terms, the holes of space and time are really in ourselves. Holes of fear and neurosis in which we lose ourselves, and from which there is no escape. Holes forever without a face or so much as a selfie. For this reason the first black hole that has been forced to show its face is beautiful. It has lost in fascination and mystery, but it has gained in truth. And it's not true that holes are empty. This one is filled to overflowing. With our history and our attempts to reach it after an endless journey. The abyss of cosmic things finally has a face. We have captured it, the rest is relativity.”