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What would a black hole really look like?

Thumbnail for version as of 02:40, 8 September 2006
black hole/Alain r

If you saw it up close?

If you were to take a photo of a black hole, what you would see would be akin to a dark shadow in the middle of a glowing fog of light. Hence, we called this feature the shadow of a black hole .

Interestingly, the shadow appears larger than you might expect by simply taking the diameter of the event horizon. The reason is simply, that the black hole acts as a giant lens, amplifying itself.

Surrounding the shadow will be a thin ‘photon ring’ due to light circling the black hole almost forever. Further out, you would see more rings of light that arise from near the event horizon, but tend to be concentrated around the black hole shadow due to the lensing effect. Heino Falcke, “Will we ever see a black hole?” at ScienceNordic

Never midn the fact that you would be dead. Details, details. Seriously, astrophysicist Dr. Falcke adds that there are two supermassive black holes relatively near Earth, whose shadows could bde resolved using modern technology:

These are the black holes in the center of our own Milky Way at a distance of 26,000 lightyears with a mass of 4 million times the mass of the sun, and the black hole in the giant elliptical galaxy M87 (Messier 87) with a mass of 3 to 6 billion solar masses.

M87 is a thousand times further away, but also a thousand times more massive and a thousand times larger, so that both objects are expected to have roughly the same shadow diameter projected onto the sky. Heino Falcke, “Will we ever see a black hole?” at ScienceNordic

Wow. That throws a bit of shade even at INSIGHT.

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See also: What Earth vs Mars can teach us about fine tuning It’s hoped that the new INSIGHT spacecraft, due to arrive on Mars on Monday, November 26, will help us understand why life on Mars either never took off or died out.

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