Livestream of black-hole announcement at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT)

As I mentioned yesterday, today is the day that the Event Horizon Telescope team will announce “a major discovery”, which will almost certainly include the first photographic image of a black hole.

The announcement will be livestreamed at 9 a.m. Eastern Time in the US or 1300 GMT. Sadly, I’ll be on my way to the dentist’s for my semiannual tooth cleaning, and will have to miss this, but you don’t have to. Just go to the YouTube site below just before the times noted above, and you’ll see this exciting announcement.

I’ll watch it afterwards, but it won’t have the emotional impact of the live announcement. So it goes.

52 Comments

  1. moleatthecounter
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    2.00 pm – GMT. Announcement/press conference live on YouTube now.

    • Leslie Griffiths
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Stream is poor and keeps dropping out – at least at my end.

    • Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Can someone explain to me how it was possible to photograph something that does not emit any light?

      • alexander
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        In astrophysics “light” is often used to indicate any electromagnetic radiation, including radio waves. The Sag A* image is obtained with a combination of radio telescopes operating at mm wavelengths.

        • alexander
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          I have to add that this light (mm radio waves) is emitted by gas and dust swirling around the black hole. The black hole itself is dark, although according to quantum theory it emits Hawking radiation, but which is too weak to be detected at that distance.

        • EdwardM
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

          You are seeing the shadow of the black hole.

      • Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        “Can someone explain to me how it was possible to photograph something that does not emit any light?”

        What the image shows is the accretion disk surrounding the black hole, and the accretion disk emits lots of light. The black hole itself is then seen silhouetted against the accretion disk.

        There is a primer here.

      • darrelle
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        They are not of course imaging the central part of the black holes that lie beyond their event horizons. They are imaging whatever features beyond the event horizons that may be extant. Depending on how active the black holes are that could be a lot, or not much. Accretion disks around black holes can be extremely energetic and highly visible at many wavelengths.

        Have you ever seen one of those images of the sun where the main disk of the sun is blacked out so that the corona is more visible? Sort of like that, only weirder because the intense gravity in the close vicinity of the black hole noticeably curves space-time, and therefore the path of light as well. Images of features close to a black hole will be distorted.

  2. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    “This is a Herculean task” — I hope one more pleasant than mucking out the Augean stables. 🙂

  3. Mike
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Brilliant wonderful work.!!

  4. mikeb
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Cool, I’m sure, but this stuff is so far over my head…(as it were)…

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I urge you to see Derek Mueller’s primer – linked in this post from yesterday:

      https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/first-black-hole-photo-should-be-released-tomorrow-explanatory-video-below/

      • Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Agreed! That was really cool. Especially when he was getting into the part that the dark center in the image is really an area where you are looking not only at the “front” of the event horizon but also at the top and even the back of the event horizon. My mind was starting to really geek out then.

        Then he explained how the bright accretion disc image will be not necessarily a direct view of the disc, but a combined set of images from the tops and bottoms of the disc, b/c light is being bent. That gets into why the ring is brighter on one side. I was freaking out by then.

        • ThyroidPlanet
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          Exactly – the Doppler effect. It was even in the movie still. I think Kip Thorne is responsible for that accuracy.

          I was hoping the speakers would address that.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, his explanation of the accretion disc and light bending with space/time was really helpful.

  5. David Harper
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The papers by the consortium that achieved this remarkable feat are all open-access for anyone who wants to delve into the details:

    First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab0ec7

    First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. II. Array and Instrumentation

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab0c96

    First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. III. Data Processing and Calibration
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab0c57

    First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. IV. Imaging the Central Supermassive Black Hole

    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab0e85

    First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. V. Physical Origin of the Asymmetric Ring
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/ab0f43

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the links. It is enthralling to see the enormity of the corroboration from large groups of scientists involved in this process. It appears there is a plethora of data for astrophysicists to work with at this juncture.😺

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      There are so much confirmation of general relativity in there, and even when they cannot really reject other theories it comes up simplest. I did not know it scaled nicely, which explains why the theorist in the video pressed on the 7 orders of magnitude between LIGO black holes and this one.

      The arguing between scientists on the jet mechanism (magnetic field compression or frame dragging) was interesting, and I note the paper push the ergosphere frame dragging as the consensus. Lots of pearls for outsiders!

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Fasci-freakin’-nating!

  7. Roger
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Neato!

  8. Mark Reaume
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    M87 is as large as our solar system. Unfathomable!

    • alexander
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Yes, this was a surprise. We all thought the first image would be that of Sagittarius A*, because it is close, at the center of our galaxy. But the apparent size of M87 is larger, even with its huge distance

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted April 11, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        And, as the press conference had it, M87* size means it is stable over weeks while SA* is stable over days; they measured 4 days (and used 4 independent image extraction teams) to make sure.

  9. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    It just finished- I am not a physicist but that was riveting. Absorbing. So very interesting. I didn’t think such an apparently trite news item would have such an interesting background to it. A picture of X is not exactly impressive- but this was impressive. I think I’ve learned a few things.

  10. Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place and commented:
    Amazing!

  11. BJ
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    So damn cool. Not just the picture. The discussion was fantastic.

  12. Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Impressive! So is the EHT’s publicity machine. The detection of gravitational waves was far more important, and announced with much less ballyhoo.

  13. W.Benson
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Much food for thought, both the science and the demeanor of the scientists.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      They had a media trained team; not much of a leak (even the NSF representative had not seen the images), they had fun (a “ring” pun!), and they will release a song … well, no, a documentary.

  14. Mark R.
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Love this stuff. It looks like the sun’s opposite…it also matches what the scientists predicted it would look like.

  15. Frank Bath
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Just to say Big Ben bongs every four seconds. (I used to broadcast it on BBC World Service transmissions.)

  16. Posted April 10, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Remarkable. Shame Hawking isn’t here …

    • rickflick
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget Einstein. He’d be stoked.

  17. Diana MacPherson
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I was impressed that it actually looked as good as it did. Great that we have direct observation of a black hole which confirms what was thought through indirect observation and fancy math.

  18. Dan Paslawski
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I watched some of this and it’s incredible. The technology and smarts required to do this is hard to fathom.

    I will watch the rest.

    Almost restores my faith in humanity….

    Dan

  19. Nicholas K.
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    The event lived up to the hype!

    The unveiling was thrilling and the way it was conducted, with a clear explanation of what they did and what we are looking at was excellent!

    Events like this give me faith in humanity, too.

    • Elaine E
      Posted April 11, 2019 at 4:51 am | Permalink

      I totally agree, Nicholas, just amazing!

      I’m not so sure about faith in humanity though, unfortunately.

      I am remembering the closing statement from one of Professor Brian Greene’s lectures:

      “The wonders of the cosmos, is so much greater than what divides us!”

      Or something like that; wish I could remember where that video is on youtube. Anyone know?

  20. Steve Pollard
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Really amazing and mind-blowing. Maximum kudos to the scientific team that achieved these images.

    Just remind me, anyone, where God told us all about these natural phenomena, where his prophets correctly predicted their properties, and where theologians worked out how to take pictures of them…

  21. Posted April 10, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Another one – it was live a while ago:

  22. Posted April 10, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful achievement! Kudos to the scientific team.

  23. Posted April 10, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Really impressive, and once again an amazing confirmation of Einstein’s theory of general relativity in perhaps its most extreme prediction. When is this hundred-year-old theory going to run into something it can’t handle? Its success across such vast scales of masses and distances staggers me. This gives me faith in reason and empiricism.

  24. mikeyc
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Popped into say; HOLY CRAP! A bunch of naked apes on a tiny ball of mud in a forgotten corner of the Milky Way took a photo of a black hole in a galaxy more than 50 million light years away. Humans, despite the politics and the religion, are pretty damn awesome creatures.

  25. Posted April 10, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Of course there are timely jokes around this event. On NPR was the quip that we can now see a black hole, but will never be able to see Trumps’ tax returns.

    • alexander
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      well, they *are*a black hole…

  26. James Walker
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    So, um, which tooth did you have cleaned? 😉

  27. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Derek Mueller’s follow up :

    /a>

    (Hoping href thing works)

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Total fail I’m sorry. Don’t click that.

  28. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Derek Mueller follow up – I’ll try this instead https://youtu.be/S_GVbuddri8

  29. Posted April 11, 2019 at 1:53 am | Permalink

    Man, I’ve never felt so lucky to be alive in this era – to be able to experience the new and exciting discoveries that people would deem impossible only a few decades ago quite literally blows my mind. The fact that a picture of a black hole 55 million light-years from Earth was captured is so surreal… good on the team who helped achieve this historical event!

  30. alexander
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Slightly miffed that this project was also funded by the Templeton Foundation.

    http://njtoday.net/2019/04/11/astronomers-capture-first-image-of-a-black-hole/

  31. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted April 19, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    One of the questions from the audience was from the 1st prize $250,000 winner of the Regeneron science contest:


%d bloggers like this: