Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
What clearer black hole photos might look like with the EHI satellite system. Images: Freek Roelofs
Scientists just recently managed to take the first image of a black hole and already are gearing up to get more images with sharper resolution. The hope is to be able to test Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and in order to achieve this, researchers are seeking to launch 2-3 satellites to orbit the Earth and look specifically for black holes that will be called the Event Horizon Imager (EHI). Freek Roelofs, a Ph.D. candidate at Radboud University and the lead author of the article proposing the idea of EHI explained that there are numerous advantages to using satellites to track black holes as opposed to permanent radio telescopes on Earth, namely that “In space, you can make observations at higher radio frequencies, because from Earth these are filtered out by the atmosphere.” Satellites would allow astronomers to take images with a resolution more than five times what is possible with the telescopes that captured the most recent black hole.
Sharper images of a black hole will lead to better information that could be used to test Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity in greater detail. Radio Astronomy Professor Heino Falcke explained that “The fact that the satellites are moving round the Earth makes for considerable advantages. With them, you can take near perfect images to see the real details of black holes. If small deviations from Einstein’s theory occur, we should be able to see them.”
Why This Matters:The New Scientist explained the importance of testing Einstein’s general theory of relativity better than I (Miro) could:
“[The theory] is one of the towering achievements of 20th-century physics. Published in 1916, it explains that what we perceive as the force of gravity in fact arises from the curvature of space and time. Einstein proposed that objects such as the sun and the Earth change this geometry. In the presence of matter and energy it can evolve, stretch and warp, forming ridges, mountains and valleys that cause bodies moving through it to zigzag and curve. So although Earth appears to be pulled towards the sun by gravity, there is no such force. It is simply the geometry of space-time around the sun telling Earth how to move. The general theory of relativity has far-reaching consequences. It not only explains the motion of the planets; it can also describe the history and expansion of the universe, the physics of black holes and the bending of light from distant stars and galaxies.”
Being able to test the theory would give us immense insight into our universe, space, and time.
By the end of July, three countries are sending rockets carrying robots to Mars. For the U.S., its old hat — been there, done that 5 times, but for China and the United Arab Emirates, it’s their maiden voyage. Why three launches so close together? Because Mars passes close to the Earth in its orbit, […]
Have you ever wondered what space smells like? Now we know. According to astronauts, it is “a mix of gunpowder, seared steak, raspberries and rum.” Hmmm. CNN reports that the fragrance was invented to help astronauts train for space — so that nothing about it would be surprising to them (seems like that would take […]
Using inexpensive tracking technology and a large antenna installed on the International Space Station, a consortium of researchers is hoping to gather a wider range of data than they had using previous tracking technologies, including long migration patterns, allowing them to better understand how climate change and habitat loss impact wildlife.
Why This Matters: In addition to better understanding of wildlife migration and threats, the technology could be used for a range of other goals.
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.