Sagittarius A* Pictures: A colossal scientific achievement

On Thursday, the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration released images of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way, Sagittarius A*. It is a direct discovery of one of the most elusive types of astronomical objects and the culmination of more than a century of theoretical and experimental astronomical studies. The results are also a fascinating display of the possibilities created by coordinated human action on an international and scientific basis.

More than 300 astronomers, hundreds of engineers, and support staff from 60 institutions in 20 countries and regions on seven continents have performed the observations, processed data, and maintained the technical infrastructure needed for such a gigantic undertaking. Après la réalisation des observations de Sgr A* en 2017, des milliers de téraoctets de données ont été acheminés à l’Observatoire Haystack du MIT et à l’Institut d’études Max Planck pour être traits et sur analys des superesés plus From the world. Five years of work has proven essential to identifying and understanding results.

X-ray and infrared images from NASA’s Chandra and Hubble Space Telescopes, respectively, created an image of the Milky Way’s core to complement and extend the images produced by the Event Horizon Telescope of the hole. The center of the galaxy is supermassive black [Source: NASA/CXC/SAO, NASA/HST/STScI, collaboration avec le Télescope Event Horizon]

The immediate result is the fruit of more than two decades of collaborative planning, which was launched in 2009 with the primary goal of observing the two largest black holes in the sky as seen from Earth, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) and from the black hole to the center of the Messier 87 galaxy. To do this, the collaboration has combined radio telescopes from around the world and combined their observing capabilities to see astronomical objects never before seen directly before.

Telescopes involved in capturing the data needed to produce the final drawing include the Atacama Large Millimeter Array and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment in Chile, the Heinrich Hertz Telescope in Arizona, the IRAM 30-meter Telescope in Spain, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and the Partial Measurement Array. in Hawaii, and finally the Large Millimeter Telescope in Mexico and the Antarctic Telescope in Antarctica.

The graphic produced is also a sledgehammer against all forms of irrational thought, be it mysticism, religious obscurantism, or postmodernism and its assertion that all “narratives” are equal. In fact, there is objective and material reality, which is governed by physical and known laws.

Other more in-depth findings should follow in the coming months and years. The EHT completed its latest observational campaign in March, which included three new telescopes that provide better images. Now that data on the two main goals of the collaboration has been collected and published, the collaboration will explore other, more mystical regions of the universe: in particular, the galactic-wide energetic jets produced by supermassive black holes when large amounts of gas and dust erupt in them.

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