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star near a supermassive black hole

Researchers plan for improved black hole images with the aid of space telescopes

Scientists are trying to click a better quality picture of a black hole because that’s the way we can learn more about the strange phenomenon. Scientists from Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands along with the European Space Agency have plans to get improved pictures of black holes.

The Event Horizon Telescope’s first picture was a great scientific success which was possible due to the cooperation, engineering as well as the technology but the picture was a bit blurry. The researchers have planned to launch a radio telescope into the space to get a more clear image of a black hole and the plan was published in Astronomy and Astrophysics paper.

EHT works on the principle of interferometry and they are a group of radio telescopes working around the world in coordination with each other. So together they act as a type of virtual telescope as the size of the earth and this is the reason we get a telescope big enough to see a black hole. Astronomers have to face a lot of difficulties due to the earth’s atmosphere and thus the telescopes have to adjust to the atmosphere to collect those images of objects at a far distance and that’s the reason they are designed in special locations that are at high altitude.


These telescopes are in Alps, Sierra Nevada, Atacama, and Hawaii. The atmosphere restricts the highest-frequency radio waves from reaching the scopes. The scope of the linkage is restricted by the size of the planet and thus the link cannot expand more than the width of the planet. The authors of the paper have a solution to both atmospheric problem as well as the problem of the size of the earth and put the radio telescopes in the respective places. The name of their project is Event Horizon Imager and the image is produced clearer than the EHT.

In this project, two or three satellites are put in the orbit which will be acting as radio observations. Freek Roelofs, a lead author of the article and PhD candidate at Radboud University said that using satellites are more advantageous than permanent radio telescopes according to the event of EHT.

Heino Falcke, radio astronomy Professor said that there are many advantages of the moving of satellites around the earth and he also added that with the help of them we can take clearer images of the black hole which shows the original details of it. The EHI would work with the combination of EHT as a kind of hybrid and Falcke said that by implementing this moving images of a black hole can be created and more can be noted.



About the author: Kalpit Veerwal
Kalpit Veerwal is a second year Computer Science undergraduate at IIT Bombay. He is well known for being the only person to score 360/360 in JEE (Main). He is registered in the Limca Book of Records for the same. A blogger in his free time, he has also secured top ranks in various exams held in India and the world.

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