Scientists have improved the image of Messier 87’s black Hole with the help of artificial intelligence.
A machine-learning program enhanced the iconic image of a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Messier galaxy, which was taken by the EHT Collaboration in 2019.
With the program trained on blackhole models on a computer, the ‘fuzzy orange ring’ in the first ever image of a Black Hole has been reduced to an even thinner ‘golden circle’.
Understanding the phenomenon
This image could be refined to help better understand the characteristics of the supermassive Black Hole at the centre of the Messier 87 galaxy (M87). It could also be applied to the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy.
In 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope revealed the historic image of the supermassive Black Hole M87. The EHT collected data over several days to create the image in 2017. The EHT is an international network of seven telescopes that create a telescope as large as Earth.
Researchers, including EHT collaborator and postdoctoral fellow Lia Medeiros in astrophysics, used the principal component interferometric modelling or “PRIMO” technique to “fill in gaps” in the M87 year’s image.
Medeiros stated in a press release that “since we cannot study black holes closely, the details in an image play a crucial role in our understanding of their behaviour.” “The image’s width has been reduced by two factors, a constraint that will help us with our gravity tests and theoretical models.”
Scientists were shocked at how closely the black hole image in M87, 55 million light-years from Earth, matched predictions made by Albert Einstein in his 1915 general theory.