I guess I’m on a black hole kick this weekend. There’s so much fascinating stuff happening with this particular field of science. The newest update is that scientist want to take a picture of a black hole. How are they going to do this? By turning Earth into a telescope, of course:
…The team is connecting up to 50 radio telescopes scattered around the globe, including the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) on Mt. Graham in Arizona, telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA) in California. The global array will include several radio telescopes in Europe, a 10-meter dish at the South Pole and potentially a 15-meter antenna atop a 15,000-foot peak in Mexico.
“In essence, we are making a virtual telescope with a mirror that is as big as the Earth,” Doeleman said. “Each radio telescope we use can be thought of as a small silvered portion of a large mirror. With enough such silvered spots, one can start to make an image.”
“The Event Horizon Telescope is not a first-light project, where we flip a switch and go from no data to a lot of data,” he added. “Every year, we increase its capabilities by adding more telescopes, gradually sharpening the image we see of the black hole.”
I hope we don’t catch the black hole in the shower or something. Embarrassing!