Scientists are going to use the largest telescope array ever built – the Event Horizon Telescope Array which spans over four continents and can tap into other telescopes like the Atacama Large Millimeter array. They are trying to do what has been never done before – to direct imagine a black hole.
Many black holes have been discovered until now but all of them were through indirect means. The first discovered one, Cygnis X-1 was found after it ate a star that passed close to it and fired X-ray visible radio jets.
Others were found when an unfortunate star got sucked into their tidal disruption events or their gravitational influence on close passing stars.
Now, by using a large array of telescopes, the Event Horizon Telescope Array will employ a very long interferometry to see the disruption of gas around Sagittarius A, the central supermassive black hole of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Applying this technique, the arrival of the photons of the black hole will come at different times and each telescope will measure the same thing. Then they will reconstruct what the telescopes see into a picture of what is occurring in the center of the galaxy.
This will allow us to see a black hole directly instead of just witnessing its effects and will answers many questions of astronomers about the behavior of these ravenous entities. The start of the massive campaign will start in April but it will take a while until they manage to compose an image.