Making sense of the nonsensical: Black holes and the simulation library

Sun, 15 May 2022 06:10:32 GMT
Space Daily

Tucson AZ (SPX) May 16, 2022 After mobilizing more than 300 scientists and engineers to establish a...

After mobilizing more than 300 scientists and engineers to establish a network of synchronized telescopes that form an Earth-sized virtual telescope, the international Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration snapped the first-ever images of supermassive black holes.

He coordinated the fifth paper, which focuses on creating black hole simulations and turning them into synthetic images that can be compared with real observations to teach us something new about the black hole.

This library is made up thousands of data sets - containing information about how the plasma interacts with magnetic fields around black holes - and millions of simulated images.

Each simulation assumes something different about the properties and characteristics of the black hole and its surrounding environment.

EHT scientists can compare each simulated image with the actual black hole image to find a match.

The simulation process involves using supercomputers to solve what's called general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic - or GRMHD - equations, which reveal the movement of material and energy around black holes within dramatically warped space and time.

The team then compares those movies and images with real black holes.

The collaboration relied on 11 different tests that the black hole simulations had to pass in order to sufficiently match the real black hole.

The UArizona faculty members working to understand black holes have been tackling this challenge for decades and were part of the research groups that identified the black hole at the center of the Milky Way and the one at the center of Messier 87 galaxy as ideal targets of study.

An international team of astronomers on Thursday unveiled the first image of a supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy - a cosmic body known as Sagittarius A*. The image - produced by a global team of scientists known as the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration - is the first, direct visual confirmation of the presence of this invisible object, and comes three years after the very first image of a black hole from a distant galaxy.