Why is the photo of the black hole so important?
As if it were a pop star, we have seen the image of the black hole on TV, blogs, social networks, newspapers, even memes have circulated all over the internet, we have also heard about this event on the radio or in various podcasts.
But really, what is so much commotion and so much fame for a photo?
To answer this question we must take into account some concepts and discover their importance.
A black hole is a finite region of space within which there is a mass concentration high enough and dense enough to generate a gravitational field such that no material particle, not even light, can escape from it.
This event would prove the theory of Albert Einstein developed 114 years ago where he says that an object with enough mass could break the temporal space tissue that is what we currently know as a black hole.
M87 is the name of the galaxy where that image was obtained, more than 53 million light years from Earth. To achieve this image, I would need a telescope with an opening on a planetary scale, that is, with the size of planet Earth at least in order to achieve the clearest possible image.
A process called Astronomical Interferometry was carried out, which was achieved by synchronizing the operation of 8 very powerful radio telescopes around the world and becoming a much larger type of virtual telescope.
The EHT (Event Horizont Telescope) was the name assigned to this planetary-scale “virtual” telescope.
5 petabytes for the data collection for a later analysis and the union to obtain the final result of what we see today photographed as the black hole. It was so much information that it was better and faster to send all that information by plane.
To have an idea of what that amount of data can represent, all the images and photos of Facebook represent 1.5 petabytes, it would be the fourth part of all the processing done by Google in a day and I assure you that it is a lot.