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Preston astronomer plays part in capturing first ever pictures of a black hole

Posted on - 10th April, 2019 - 2:54pm | Author - | Posted in - Preston News, UCLan, University campus
Never before seen first images of the black hole
Never before seen first images of the black hole

A Preston-based astronomer has been involved in capturing the first ever pictures of a black hole.

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Images released show the gargantuan Messier 87 galaxy’s black hole.

Event Horizon Telescope has shared the first-scene pictures of the black hole which resides 55 million light-years from earth.

The University of Central Lancashire’s Professor Derek-Ward Thompson played a part in the project.

He analysed data from the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope that the university helps to fund and was one of the telescopes involved in capturing the pictures.

A number of virtual simulations were produced with the pictures
A number of virtual simulations were produced with the pictures

Professor Ward-Thompson said: “This is a truly remarkable result. Obtaining an image of a black hole is not as easy as snapping a photo with an ordinary camera. However, the power created by linking up all these telescopes around the world is immense. It’s the equivalent of being able to see an object on the surface of the Moon that is only a few centimetres across.

“Until now, this was the domain of science fiction and artist’s impressions. To be a part of the first team to image a black hole is an amazing feeling. This achievement stands right up there with any other feat in astronomy.”

Read more: Moor Park observatory to host monthly open evenings

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