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The first image of a black hole looks like a ‘thin’ cake

(CNN) The first image of the black hole is now much sharper.

Originally published in 2019Unprecedented Historic image of a supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87, essentially capturing an unseen celestial body Use live photos.

The image provided the first direct visual evidence of the existence of black holes, showing a dark central region surrounded by a ring of light that appears brighter on one side. Astronomers dubbed the object the “fuzzy orange donut.”

The researchers said the scientists have now used machine learning to present the image as a “thin” cake with a neater update. In the new image, the central region is dark and massive, surrounded by a bright ring, as hot gas falls into the black hole.

Machine learning technology was used to improve the Event Horizon Telescope’s composite image (left) of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy and produce a sharper image.

In 2017, astronomers set out to observe the invisible core of the massive galaxy Messier 87, or M87, near the constellation Virgo, 55 million light-years from Earth.

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, better known as the EHT, is a global network of telescopes that took the first image of a black hole. More than 200 researchers have worked on the project for more than a decade. The scheme is named after the event horizon, a proposed boundary around a black hole that represents space where no light or radiation can escape.

To capture the image of the black hole, scientists combined the power of seven radio telescopes around the world using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Long Base Interferometry, part of the EHT. This sequence Efficiently create an Earth-sized virtual telescope.

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Maximum Accuracy Reached

Original observational data from 2017 was combined with machine learning technology to capture the full resolution of what the telescopes saw for the first time. A new detailed image has been released along with a study Thursday Astrophysical Journal Letters.

“Using the new PRIMO machine learning method, we were able to achieve the highest accuracy for the current sequence,” said lead study author Leah Medeiros. Princeton, New Jersey, in a statement.

Because we cannot study black holes up close, the details of the image play an important role in our ability to understand their behavior. The ring in the image is now twice as wide, and this is a strong limitation for our theoretical models and gravity experiments. »

Medeiros and other members of the EHT developed principal component interferometric modeling, or PRIMO. The algorithms are based on dictionary learning, in which computers create rules based on large groups of objects. If a computer receives a series of different banana images, combined with some training, it can tell whether or not the unknown image contains a banana.

Computers using PRIMO analyzed more than 30,000 high-resolution simulated images of black holes to pick out common structural details. This allowed machine learning to fill in the gaps in the original image.

“PRIMO is a new approach to the challenging task of creating images from EHT observations,” said astronomer Todd Lauer of the National Science Foundation’s Optical and Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory. NOIRLab. “This provides a way to compensate for missing information about the observed object, which is necessary to produce an image that can be seen with a huge Earth-sized radio telescope.”

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Developing black hole research

Black holes consist of a large amount of matter compressed into a small space. NASA, creates a massive gravitational field that attracts everything around it, including light. These powerful celestial events have the gift of heating up the matter that surrounds them and modifying space-time.

Matter accumulates around black holes, heating them to billions of degrees and almost reaching the speed of light. The light bends around the black hole’s gravity, forming the ring of photons seen in the image. The black hole’s shadow is represented by the dark central region.

An optical confirmation of black holes is also a confirmation Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Theoretically, Einstein predicted that the denser, more compressed regions of space would have such intense gravity that nothing could escape from them. But if hot matter in the form of plasma surrounds the black hole and emits light, the event horizon is visible.

The new image will help scientists measure the black hole’s mass more precisely. Researchers can use PRIMO for other EHT observations The black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

“The 2019 film is just the beginning,” Medeiros said. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, the underlying data for that image has a lot of stories to tell. PRIMO will continue to be an important information-mining tool.”