Why Is the First-Ever Black Hole Photo an Orange Ring?


It took eight telescopes and more than 200 astronomers to produce an astonishing, never-before-seen image of a distant black hole. (Image: © Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, et al.)
Orange you glad you’ve just seen the first-ever image of a black hole?

By Mindy Weisberger | SPACE.com

Today (April 10), a global collaboration of more than 200 astronomers presented the first image of a directly-observed black hole. The picture of a glowing orange-yellow ring around a dark core, was compiled from observations by eight ground-based radio telescopes known collectively as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

Researchers‘ data showed the black hole at the heart of Messier 87 (M87), a galaxy within the Virgo cluster located about 55 million light-years from Earth. But what exactly is the image showing, and why is the irregular ring orange? [IT’S HERE: The First-Ever Close-Up of a Black Hole]

Though black holes are compact objects, they are exceptionally massive — the mass of M87’s black hole is about 6.5 billion times that of our sun, the National Science Foundation (NSF) said in a statement. Because of this enormous mass, black holes warp spacetime, heating the dust and gas around them to extreme temperatures, according to NSF.

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