Watch Live: The First Image of a Black Hole Wednesday by Event Horizon Telescope
The image would be a groundbreaking achievement for the two-year-old international observatory. The hundreds of millions of black holes that pepper the universe shape our very existence, which we know thanks to recent research. Discoveries made in the last three years revealed that when black holes collide they can send literal shockwaves across galaxies, moving every piece of matter that surrounds us.
Yet stargazers have pondered black holes for more than 200 years — and spent millions of dollars on studying them — without actually seeing one. Black holes even mystified the illuminated mind of Albert Einstein, whose theory of general relativity and its many offshoots hinged on the idea of areas with massive amounts of gravity.
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In lively text, the book starts off with a thorough explanation of gravity and the role it plays in the formation of black holes. Paintings by Michael Carroll, coupled with real telescopic images, help readers visualize the facts and ideas presented in the text, such as how light bends, and what a supernova looks like.