Astronomy

First Detection of Light from Behind a Black Hole

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How do you see the unseeable – how do you explore the inescapable? Our cleverest astronomers have figured out ways to catch light that skims the very edge of black holes. Let’s find out what they learned.

A few weeks ago a story made the rounds of pop-sci media proclaiming that for the first time light had been detected from behind a black hole. The reports were about a paper that claimed to have seen X-rays that came not from inside but from the back end black hole. This is obviously cool stuff – I mean, really anything new with black holes captures the public attention. But this result is cool in ways most people aren’t aware. And it brought us closer to a goal that I’ve been personally striving towards for years – trying to understand what happens in the vicinity of the largest black holes in the universe. I thought it would be worth doing a space time journal club on the Nature paper by Wilkins, Gallo, Costantini, Brandt & Blandford so I get to talk about my favorite subject in the universe.

Nature Paper
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-021-03667-0

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#space #blackholes #astrophysics

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