Kitchener-Waterloo

Perimeter Institute hosts live webcast of groundbreaking black hole reveal

The Event Horizon Telescope is expected to announce "groundbreaking results" Wednesday. 
This is the first image ever taken of the event horizon of a supermassive black hole, captured by the Event Horizon Telescope in 2017. (Event Horizon Telescope)

The Event Horizon Telescope is expected to announce "groundbreaking results" Wednesday. 

The Event Horizon Telescope is an international collaboration attempting to capture the first image of a black hole by creating a virtual earth-sized telescope. 

To prepare for the announcement, the Perimeter Institute is hosting a live webcast of the announcement at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, followed by a live panel discussion. 

Panelists include Robert Myers, the institute's director and the BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in theoretical physics, Beatrice Bonga, a postdoctoral researcher, AsiminaArvanitaki, a faculty member and StavrosNiarchos Foundation Aristarchus Chair in Theoretical Physics as well as Brian McNamara, the department chair of physics and astronomy at the University of Waterloo.

According to Damian Pope, the senior outreach scientist at the Perimeter Institute, the Event Horizon Telescope consists of eight telescopes located in different parts of the world — from Greenland to the South Pole — that make independent observations and collect radio waves emitted from two black holes.

The data collected is then shared and shipped to a "central super computer," Pope said. 

"We never in history had a direct image of a black hole, and the goal of the project was to get there and by doing that, to really learn a lot more about black holes, but also about the universe overall and gravity," Pope said. 

Pope said the Perimeter Institute was involved in the project through contributing ideas and theories. 

"Perimeter, and what Canada has been doing, in part, has been doing some models and simulations of what we would expect this black hole image to look like if Einstein's model of gravity is right," he said. 

The announcement is expected at 9 a.m and the institute's live panel discussion is set for 11 a.m on Wednesday. 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.