In one of the most anticipated and hyped announcements in the history of science, we now have a picture of a black hole. Of course the articles credit Einstein:
The image offered a final, ringing affirmation of an idea so disturbing that even Einstein, from whose equations black holes emerged, was loath to accept it. If too much matter is crammed into one place, the cumulative force of gravity becomes overwhelming, and the place becomes an eternal trap, a black hole. Here, according to Einstein’s theory, matter, space and time come to an end and vanish like a dream.The picture doesn't really have much to do with Einstein or relativity. Long before relativity, scientists predicted that a sufficiently dense object would have a gravitational force so great that light could not escape. Also, stars collapse when they run out of fuel, for reasons that have little to do with relativity.
On Wednesday morning that dark vision became a visceral reality. As far as the Event Horizon team could ascertain, the shape of the shadow is circular, as Einstein’s theory predicts. ...
“Einstein must be totally chuffed,” said Priyamvada Natarajan, an astrophysicist at Yale. “His theory has just been stress-tested under conditions of extreme gravity and looks to have held up.”
Wikipedia used to say that it is a common misconception that black holes act as a cosmic vacuum cleaner. But they do act as cosmic vacuum cleaners, and that is why you see light surrounding the hole in the above picture. Wikipedia has been corrected, but now it is not clear what the supposed misconception is.
Update: The stories give the impression that the image was being released as soon as it was obtained. There are already two xkcd cartoons making fun of it. 2133 2135
I assume that they did not start hyping this until they were sure that they could present a could picture. I also assume that there was a lot of image enhancement. I hope they release the raw data, so we can see just how fake this is.
Looks about as clear as the so called 'canali' Schiaparelli saw through his telescope on mars (There must be martians!)... hmmm, or a very large glazed donut.ReplyDelete
An object so massive light can't escape it does not require relativity or a time space/singularity black hole. Newton described something he called a black body, which was merely something with a gravity so high that light was not fast enough to reach escape velocity. No warped space required.