Event Horizon Telescope has been working to bring us the first ever photograph of the event horizon

The year 2019 is here. With it, we've been promised a splendid moment in astronomy. For years, the Event Horizon Telescope has been working to bring us the first ever telescopic photograph of the event horizon of a black hole.

Next Wednesday, at several press briefings around the world, scientists will apparently unveil humanity's first ever photo of a black hole, the European Space Agency said in a statement. Specifically, the photo will be of "Sagittarius A," the supermassive black hole that's at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Event Horizon Telescope is actually a team of telescopes working together in a process known as interferometry. This lets the connected telescopes behave as if they had one enormous collecting area. Of course, there are gaps between the individual observatories, and each telescope is unique and behaves in slightly different ways as well as experiencing different weather, and having a different view of the black hole, though this last is actually the feature that makes the combined imaging so accurate. But figuring out how to stitch all that data together is why researchers have taken so long to turn the 2017 data into a presentable image.

Black holes, are literally invisible. The pull of their gravity is so immense that, past a certain point, nothing escapes. This includes the electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, infrared, light and radio waves, that would allow us to detect the object directly.
That point of no return is called the event horizon, and apart from being a terrifying location you never want to find yourself in, it's also our key to actually visualising a black hole.

We don't know what we're going to see; it's possible that the data will only return a few blurry pixels. (If that's the case, more telescopes will join the collaboration, and the scientists will try again.)But we hope that we’ll finally get to experience the first results from this mission. Regardless of the details, however, we’ll almost certainly be seeing something no human has ever seen before.

Phedias Hadjicharalambous.
Cyprus Astronomy Organisation