Amazing moment in history, right? @physicists
It’s rather sad that Stephen Hawking isn’t here to witness it.
Though I am not sure at all in what sense this is “Live”.
You mean because the final image is the product of combining lots of different observations and data analysis methods, or that the photons traveled for over 50 million years before getting here?
And it also took several months of processing the data to produce this false image.
The amount of data they had to process was really impressive. On top of that, they had to sync up time between the telescopes precisely. Even if they weren’t able to get an image, the experiment itself was quite amazing.
I wonder what percentage of Americans who see the news report and image will assume that scientists looked through a telescope in an observatory and saw this amazing sight.
I didn’t realize that black holes were controversial, I thought their existence was pretty much just assumed. This seems a bit like getting an electron microscope image of a sheet of graphene, cool, but not earth shattering. Can somebody help me out with the significance? I get the experimental complexity, etc. but is there a lot more than that? I watched the first 15 minutes or so and couldn’t figure it out.
Unfortunately, in my opinion, a high majority of people that saw the story will assume that’s exactly what happened.
I’m no astrophysicist but I have been assuming that this is a popular general media sensation for this reason: Scientists find it amazing because they understand the huge effort and computer crunching necessary to boil down so much tediously gathered data into such a beautiful image–while the general public loves it because they finally get to see with their eyes something they’ve heard about for years.
I think I recall the lady responsible for this project talking about the methodologies over a year ago. (Perhaps it was a TED talk. I don’t recall.) So we did know that this was coming down the pike. But actually seeing an image with our eyes evokes a greater reaction, scientist and non-scientist alike.
That’s all just an assumption on my part.