Jude Hilton, Black Holes: Photographed!

Two weeks ago, on April 10th, humanity made a huge step in the field of astrophysics. For the first time since Einstein theorized their existence in the 1900’s, society has photographic proof of black holes exist. This was no small feat, the picture alone being so massive that it was impossible to send over the internet, and had to be flown on massive servers across the ocean to be presented to the public. In the 1990’s, an astrophysicist named Sheperd Doeleman began to organize a program that would ultimately lead to last week’s achievement. Over the course of several decades, the program which eventually became to be known as “The Event Horizon Telescope”. The movement began to grow in popularity, funding, and progress. Raising over forty million dollars, the project gained support from countless institutions and organizations, all of which were dedicated to capturing an image of the ever elusive black hole. The process of taking the picture itself was exceedingly complex; with dozens of powerful telescopes from around the world taking massive amounts of data from a singular black hole which was thousands of light years away. All of this data was then compiled, and the “Event Horizon Telescope” team began the arduous process of compiling said data into a complete picture. As complicated of a process it is by itself, the team also had to ensure that no amount of human error would end up affecting the picture in any way. After all, the goal was to create an accurate depiction of a black hole; not a human being’s depiction of one. They did this by having multiple people work on compiling the picture, and having computer simulations run their own versions of the data, to ensure they had not made any errors. The computer simulation created a similar image to the one humans had created, so the team knew that they had not made any errors of bias. This whole process took several months. The picture itself, while a bit blurry, represents a leap forward in the study of astrophysics that confirms one of the most significant astral bodies ever theorized about. All of this support, time, and money finally paid off on April 10th when, despite insurmountable odds, and the tremendous scientific challenge the likes of which had never been overcome, the Event Horizon Telescope team proudly announced to the world that they had in fact managed to take a picture of the ever elusive, colossal celestial body.