Scientist: we proved that black holes cannot be exotic tunnels in the space-time structure

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. In coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers revealed that they succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. The shadow of a black hole seen here is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object from which light cannot escape. The black hole’s boundary — the event horizon from which the EHT takes its name — is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 40 billion km across. While this may sound large, this ring is only about 40 microarcseconds across — equivalent to measuring the length of a credit card on the surface of the Moon. Although the telescopes making up the EHT are not physically connected, they are able to synchronize their recorded data with atomic clocks — hydrogen masers — which precisely time their observations. These observations were collected at a wavelength of 1.3 mm during a 2017 global campaign. Each telescope of the EHT produced enormous amounts of data – roughly 350 terabytes per day – which was stored on high-performance helium-filled hard drives. These data were flown to highly specialised supercomputers — known as correlators — at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and MIT Haystack Observatory to be combined. They were then painstakingly converted into an image using novel computational tools developed by the collaboration.

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Pictures of the “shadow” of the black hole in the center of the galaxy M87 prove that these objects cannot be exotic tunnels in the space-time structure, astronomer Heino Falcke said at a press conference at the European Commission in Brussels.

“In the scientific literature there are many alternatives for black holes, and now we have the first opportunity to really test them. For example, now we can say for sure that black holes are not” wormholes”. We can say that our science has become experimental,” – noted astrophysicist.

Falke and his colleagues are working on the Event Horizons Telescope project. where the capacities of the most sensitive radio observatories of the world in Chile, Spain, California, Arizona, Hawaiian islands and even at the South Pole of the Earth were combined.

The main goal of this project, as can be understood from its name, is to “get close” to the event horizon of the black hole Sgr A * located in the center of the Milky Way, and comprehensively study its properties, including photograph its shadow. Similar observations scientists led the galaxy M87, located in the constellation Virgo.

So scientists call a special area of ​​space in the vicinity of a black hole, where a kind of “reflection” of its event horizon will arise due to the effect of gravitational lensing. Compared with the size of the Sgr A * accretion disk, a “donut” of ground matter that the black hole gradually absorbs – it will be very small, but it can be seen.

As the theory of relativity predicts, the shadow of a black hole will look like a dark circle surrounded by a crescent of bright light, but not all scientists agree with this prediction.

Some of them believed that in fact black holes may not be singularities, where matter disappears irrevocably, and so-called “wormholes” are peculiar “tunnels” connecting two points located in different regions of space or time.

Despite their fantastic description, their existence is predicted by the theory of relativity and all its major extensions. EHT observations have resolved these disputes, fully confirming Einstein’s predictions and eliminating the possibility of the existence of wormholes in the centers of galaxies.

“Unfortunately, we did not find any discrepancies with the calculations of the theory of relativity, which, of course, every scientist dreams. In fact, it was enough for me that we just managed to solve this problem. If we saw something completely incomprehensible, then we would have to spend another couple of years checking to see if we had made a mistake while analyzing the data, “continues Falke.

As the scientist noted, more detailed photographs cannot be obtained yet – for this, a telescope is needed, whose dimensions exceed the diameter of the Earth. This task can be solved in the future, when a replacement for the Russian orbital observatory “Spectr-R”, as well as the microwave telescope “Millimetron” or similar foreign devices will be sent into space.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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