Scientists reveal clearest image of the first black hole to ever be photographed – it's mind-boggling | The Sun

RESEARCHERS have used artificial intelligence (AI) to give us the clearest view of a black hole yet.

The first photograph of the black hole was captured four years ago, but showed just a faint fiery halo.

The update image, published on Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, keeps the original ring shape but shows a much sharper resolution.

The original image, titled EHT 2019, was humanity's first visual peek into black holes.

This black hole in particular lies at the centre of the M87 galaxy, 53 million light-years from Earth.

One light-year is 5.8 trillion miles.


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The cosmic event was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHT), an array of telescopes all across the planet that were synchronised to work together.

These telescopes aren't connected, but scientists are able to synchronise their recorded data with atomic clocks which precisely time their observations.

But even with the strength of a large number of powerful telescopes, gaps remained in the data.

This is why AI was deployed.

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Scientists fed this data through a machine learning algorithm, so that the AI could fill in the blanks.

While the result still looks pretty similar to the original, it's the clearest image humans have seen yet.

"For me, it feels like we’re really seeing it for the first time," said lead author Lia Medeiros, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey, in the US.

Now the team plans to use machine learning on other images of celestial objects.

This may include the black hole at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy.

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