Black Hole “Discovery”

Brandon Johnson, Staff Writer

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On April 10th, scientists obtained the first “photograph” of a black hole. A black hole is a region of space where the gravitational pull is so intense nothing can escape. This specific black hole is approximately 6.5 billion times the size of our sun and 53 million light-years away from Earth. Its home is in the center of the large elliptical galaxy Messier 87 or M87. The event horizon telescope, which consists of a global network of radio telescopes, enables us to observe this black hole.

Although a photograph is a picture made using a camera in which an image focused onto film, international astronomers concluded a radio astronomy technique for this high-resolution imaging and used it to detect the silhouette of a black hole. How have we theoretically known black holes always existed? While on the other side, some may believe this is all a conspiracy even though there is “photographic” evidence.

This “discovery” has merely served as a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions about our space. The Event Horizon Telescope is the result of years of international collaboration and offers scientists a new way to study the most extreme objects in the Universe predicted by Einstein’s general relativity. Although, if this was the case, why is Einstein’s belief still just a “theory”?

People tend to be in disbelief until proven otherwise but who’s to say this is the “first image ever” of a black hole. Since this came from NASA, people are now convinced black holes exist. News flash! Black holes have always existed, and this “discovery” is just one out of a plethora of theories and understandings about our time and space. Messier 87’s black hole may be the first “image” we’ve seen, but this isn’t the first set of data we’ve seen for black holes.

This “photograph” is semantically not an actual “photograph.” People would be quick to disagree with that due to this trillion dollar company called NASA feeding the public with ideas. Most intellectual, science-educated people, mainly adults or someone who merely does their research, would understand that this isn’t what you would call a “photograph.”

Honors chemistry teacher Mrs. Deason explains how this “photo” was taken in her understanding. She explains that they take algorithms to “predict” what the pixel number should be. So what did they see without this “algorithm’? She further elaborates that it was probably just orangeness, and they didn’t have data for what was in the middle of it. So basically they modified their “photograph” to make it appear as what they wanted it to be … or how they assumed it to look like. In her conclusion, it’s a computer generated picture but made from data because there’s no way a telescope could take a picture of something that big. So they filled in the pieces using data. But we already knew that, right?

Mr. Lindsay, teacher of Anatomy and Zoology, demonstrates that we know black holes exist through observation, experimentation, and algorithms. All this does is confirm the concepts of science and what a theory means as well as how important our mathematics comes together. He also goes to explain that there is a misuse of the word theory and that you have a hypothesis. They don’t understand the correct terminology of a “theory.”

Physics teacher, Dr. Ritchie, explains that one person does not decide theories, and you need many people to find many different facts using proper experimentation. But ironically enough he doesn’t “believe” in aliens but that’s beside the point.

Think for yourself, and don’t be sheep. Just because one person says something, does not mean you should take it as fact. Instead, believe in hypothesis and realize theory is still theory no matter what until you find the answers for yourself.

Credit due to-
Loff, Sarah. “Black Hole Image Makes History; NASA Telescopes Coordinate Observation.” NASA, NASA, 10 Apr. 2019, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/chandra/news/black-hole-image-makes-history.