The image of a black hole in the 2014 movie Interstellar looks remarkably different than the one we saw in 2019 when scientists published the first-ever real black hole photo. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project took the famous pic.
So what accounts for the difference in the visual representation of a black hole from the film Interstellar and the actual photos of the one captured in real life? The answer will surprise you.
Luckily for us, the physicist behind the movie now offers an explanation and shares it with us in this 51-second TikTok video posted by @shortphysics.
WATCH VIDEO HERE
A simpler account than you expected, right?
Obviously, this black hole cannot be seen with the human eye or amateur telescopes in the night sky. According at an EHT press release, it is at the center of Messier 87, a galaxy in the Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole is 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun.
"If immersed in a bright region, like a disc of glowing gas, we expect a black hole to create a dark region similar to a shadow — something predicted by Einstein’s general relativity that we’ve never seen before," explained chair of the EHT Science Council Heino Falcke of Radboud University, the Netherlands, in the press release. "This shadow, caused by the gravitational bending and capture of light by the event horizon, reveals a lot about the nature of these fascinating objects and allowed us to measure the enormous mass of M87’s black hole."
According to space.com, "The event horizon is the threshold around the black hole where the escape velocity surpasses the speed of light. According to Einstein's theory of special relativity, nothing can travel faster through space than the speed of light. This means a black hole's event horizon is essentially the point from which nothing can return."
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