Taking a picture of a black hole took much more than just capturing an image. It required collecting data from multiple radio telescopes around the world and combining it using a technique called Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). The amount of data collected was approximately 5,000 terabytes, which is equivalent to 5 petabytes or 5 million gigabytes.
What is the size of data collected by telescopes used to take a picture of a black hole?
The size of data collected by telescopes used to take a picture of a black hole is around 5 petabytes.
How long did it take to collect the data for imaging a black hole?
Collecting the data for imaging a black hole took about 10 days in April 2017, using a network of telescopes from around the world called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).
What resolution was required to capture an image of a black hole?
The image of a black hole was captured using the Event Horizon Telescope, which required a resolution equivalent to reading a newspaper in New York from a sidewalk café in Paris. More specifically, it has a resolution of 20 micro-arcseconds.
What was the storage capacity required to hold all the data collected in order to create an image of a black hole?
The storage capacity required to hold all the data collected in order to create an image of a black hole is estimated to be about 5 petabytes.
Can you explain how scientists were able to collect and process such large amounts of data in order to create an image of a black hole?
Yes, scientists used a technique called very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) in order to collect and process data from eight radio telescopes located around the world. Each telescope collected data on the same target, which was the supermassive black hole at the center of galaxy M87.
The data was then combined using a computer algorithm, resulting in an image that showed the bright ring surrounding the black hole’s event horizon. This technique required precise timing and location information, as well as complex calibration and processing techniques. Overall, it took years of planning and coordination across international teams of astronomers to successfully capture this groundbreaking image.