The first black hole’s “Photon Ring”
The first ever black hole imaged by modern telescopes could help the spot 'photon ring.'
With the aid of a potential generation of telescopes in space, weak rings of light circling massive Black Holes may be seen.
The black hole, which the Event Horizon Telescope partnership published in April 2019, reveals a doughnut-like light that is more nuanced than the world's radio telescopes network might discern. The gravity of the black hole is so strong, that some light particles known as photons will orbit a black hole in part or twice or more before they escape for telescopes. These orbiting photons create a photon ring, consisting of a series of light sub circles which tend to be thinner and harder to be picked up by telescopes successively.
“It’s sort of like a hall of mirrors, where we’re getting an infinite series of images,” says by Astrophysicist Michael Johnson - the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Center in Cambridge, Mass.
Next, the photon sub rings can be observed theoretically around the supermassive black hole in the middle of the galaxy M87 with the help of modern space telescopes, the theoretical focus of the first black hole snapshot.
The team reports on March 18 in Science Advances that a Radio telescope across the Earth could catch the first subring. But it will take an even farther telescope to detect the second subring – on the moon. With a telescope, 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, the third subtraction could still be observed.
Scientists have suggested these telescopes before, but the proposals have not yet come to fruition. Johnson says that the new study offers new incentives for a space telescope to be added to the EHT network.
Even if the EHT did not photograph the substitutes directly, it might detect their presence. This detection reaffirms Einstein 's gravitational principle, the general relativity principle that predicts the presence of the rings. The black hole mass and how fast it rotates can also be better calculated.
"It will be a challenge, but it will be something you can predict," says Harvard Astrophysicist Avi Loeb, who was not involved in research. The idea will be difficult. "For the next generation, this is an exciting target."