Scientists Capture The First Picture Of A Black Hole

On Thursday, 347 scientists who worked together to produce the first image of a black hole were honoured with the "Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics" worth $3 million, which is also called the "Oscar of Science."

The team behind the project is now preparing to go to the next stage – they plan to create a black hole movie. The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration is currently processing large tranches of data to prepare the video, which will make its debut in 2020.

Shep Doeleman, the project's director, told AFP on Thursday: "What I predict is that by the end of the next decade we will be making high quality real-time movies of black holes that reveal not just how they look, but how they act on the cosmic stage."

Astronomers had previously detected the light being swallowed by black holes by linking multiple radio telescopes together. They observed high frequency radio waves, which allowed the astronomers to see through the gas and dust in the galaxy, all the way to the boundaries of black holes.

Don't expect the movie to be available on Blu-Ray soon. In fact, the scientists state that it will be quite a "crude" movie – it won't show a Hollywood-esque version of actual space, but rather a more realistic version that can be shot from telescopes.

While the earlier image was shot by combining the viewing power of many telescopes on earth, this one will require input from some in the orbit.

However, the future of the project and whether more such movies can be made will depend on how much funding such projects get. While the first image and the response it gathered has been phenomenal, scientists will need continued funding to make more observations about black holes.

Currently, scientists have only explored the edges of black holes. Whether they will able to probe further depends on how much magnification power we can endow telescopes with.

It should be an interesting movie, nonetheless.

Supermassive black hole
An artist's concept of a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy NASA/JPL-Caltech