SALT LAKE CITY — They’re millions of times bigger than the sun; nothing, not even light, can escape them; and now, for the first time in human history, we may see the first photograph of a supermassive black hole as soon as next week.
What’s happening: On April 10 at 3 p.m. CEST (7 a.m. MST), the European Commission, European Research Council and the Event Horizon Telescope project will hold a press conference to introduce a “groundbreaking result” from the EHT.
- The EHT project is an international collaboration aimed at capturing the first photograph of a black hole, and it is supposed that scientists at the press conference will unveil a photo of “Sagittarius A,” a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.
Sagittarius A is about 4 million times the mass of the sun and is 26,000 light-years away from Earth, according to NASA. It is one of the few black holes in the universe with a flow of nearby matter that can be witnessed by humans.
Black holes are collapsed stars or compressed mass with a pulling force of gravity so strong that light is not able to escape, rendering them all but invisible, according to NASA.
However, the “event horizon” of a black hole — the point outside of a black hole where light can’t achieve escape velocity — is theoretically possible to photograph, and it’s very likely that is what will be shown at the conference next week, according to USA Today.
How you can watch: The conference will be streamed online on the European Southern Observatory website, a European Commission YouTube live video and social media at 3 p.m. CEST, or 7 a.m. MST, according to the ESO.
- Six major press conferences will also be held simultaneously across the globe, including in Washington, D.C., the ESO reported.