Featured image: A simulated image of the dynamic region surrounding a black hole, showing off a “bump” that builds up due to magnetohydrodynamic motion. (Courtesy Dexter et al., Astrophysics Journal 2010)
How do we know what a black hole looks like? We have many theories about these ominous objects that are backed up by evidence, but one thing we haven’t done is seen a black hole—due to their tiny size and total darkness, nobody has been able to take a picture of one. We haven’t had a telescope sharp enough to see the black hole, until now: and it’s only a small and determined band of scientists, currently developing a telescope the size of the Earth, to break through the barrier and image a black hole for the first time. This week, we focus on the story of the Event Horizon Telescope, a massive undertaking whose results are due in the near future.
Kelsey Ockert is back on These Vibes for a book giveaway about this phenomenal scientific project. Check out “Einstein’s Shadow: A Black Hole, a Band of Astronomers, and the Quest to See the Unseeable” by Seth Fletcher! Thanks to the Princeton Public Library for the free book.
In other news:
- A new study linking a special type of neuron to longevity claims that it’s not how large your body is, but how large your brain is, that determines your lifespan.
- After a long life capturing evidence of exoplanets, the Kepler Telescope has retired from service.
- Perchlorates, volatile chemicals needed in jet fuel and other exotic applications, are formed on Mars perhaps due to electricity buildup within dust devils.
The playlist is online at WPRB.com or below.