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Anniversary of 'Interstellar' & # 39 ;: What we've learned about black holes ever since



  • Hollywood blockbuster director Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" is "second festival.
  • In the movie, Matthew McConaughey plays an astronaut traveling through a supermassive black hole called Gargauntua. physicist Kip Thorne to make the most realistic depiction of a black hole possible.
  • But since the film was released, scientists have learned about what black holes really look like, and even imaging for the first time. [19659002] These findings revealed that, despite Nolan and Thorne's best efforts, Gargantua was not perfectly accurate.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

At the center of each galaxy lies a powerful black hole, where gravity is strong without ̵

1; even the light – a y can escape its boundary.

In the movie "Interstellar," a fictional black hole called Gargantua takes the stage. The movie came out exactly five years ago, in November 2014. Inside, Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway play astronauts traveling through a wormhole – a tunnel that allows for almost instant travel between distant points – to explore the three planets orbiting Gargantua, 10 billion light-years from Earth.

Eventually, McConaughey's character launches his ship into the supermassive black hole, within which he discovers a fifth-dimensional, inter-dimensional human being, and the ability to communicate with his estranged son throughout time and space.

Director Christopher Nolan and his team on visual effects have been competing for the better science of "Interstellar" – they have also hired theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate Kip Thorne as a consultant. that they really came out, "Thorne said in an interview before the film's release." This is the first time the description of the general equations of Einstein's relationship has begun. "

Indeed, the film's description of Gargantua was praised as the most accurate description of a black hole ever.

 black hole

An artist's concept of a supermassive black hole.
NASA / JPL-Caltech / Reuters


But over the last five years, a number of major discoveries about black holes have given new insights into the physics of what these massive objects look like and how they look act. Based on that information, Gargantua is not completely accurate, though it is still close in many respects. Here's what got "Interstellar" right and wrong.

The first image of a black hole captured in 19659018] Supermassive black holes form when stars fall on themselves at the end of their life cycles. On average, they are millions of times larger than the sun.

Scientists have been struggling for decades to capture one of the cameras, since black holes are so large and rotating so fast that they distort space-time, making sure nothing can damage their gravitational pull . Because even when light cannot escape, these forces create a unique shadow in the form of a perfect circle in the center of the black hole.

The outer center of the center is known as the black hole's event horizon, or "point of no return."

But in April, a team of scientists from the international Event Horizon Telescope ( EHT) Collaboration released the first image of a supermassive black hole in public. Although the image is blurry, it shows that, as predicted, black holes appear to be dark spheres surrounded by a glowing ring of light.

"As a gas cloud approaches the black hole, they accelerate and heat up." Josephine Peters is an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford, previously told Business Insider. "It's brighter the faster and faster it gets. Eventually, the gas cloud approaches sufficiently that the black hole's pull reaches a thin arc."

An unprecedented photo shows a supermassive black hole in the center of The Messier 87 galaxy, approximately 54 million light years from Earth. Black hole mass equals 6.5 billion days.

 This image was released Wednesday, April 10, 2019, by Event Horizon Telescope showing a black hole. Scientists reveal the first image made from a black hole after collecting data gathered by a network of radio telescopes around the world. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration / Maunakea Observatories by AP)

On April 10, 2019, the Event Horizon Telescope team released the first image made of a black hole.
Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration / Maunakea Observatories by AP


To get the image, astronomers have relied on years of data from eight syncing telescopes around the world. So the image is a rebuilt view, not a photograph.

"It felt like looking at the gates of hell, at the end of space and time," Heino Falcke, a partner in the Television Events Network, said when the photo was published. .

The next target of the EHT team is probably Sagittarius A *, the black hole in the middle of our own galaxy.

We started looking at what might look like a black hole

Since the April EHT blur, NASA scientists have created a visualization of what may look like near a black hole and action.

The animation shows how the gravity surrounding the black hole is twisted from the orbiting cloud of gas, dust, dead stars, and other space detritus (called an accretion disk). It would appear as a rainbow of flames bent around a dark abyss.

The black hole will change the look depending on how you look at it. A side view, as below, will show the accretion disk sliding around the event.

 NASA black hole image

A description of a black hole visible from the side.
Goddard Space Flight Center by NASA / Jeremy Schnittman


The disk appears brighter on one side than the other because the black hole of the M87 is likely to rotate, which in turn blows away the cloud of dust and gas that travels through it. So the material moving towards our eyes will be brighter than the material moving – a bit like the beacon of a lighthouse.

If you look at the black hole from above or below, however, the accretion disk will form a near-perfect circle and the light will appear more evenly distributed.

According to Thorne, the reason that the black hole in "Interstellar" did not match the M87 black hole image had Nolan elected to discuss the apparent and obvious phenomenon.

Thorne told Gizmodo that "the human eye is unlikely to recognize differences in brightness on both sides of the hole when the overall brightness is too great." That's why the black hole of the film appears to be of similar brightness all around.

 interstellar black hole

The description of a black hole seen in the movie "Interstellar."
Paramount Pictures


Scientists have confirmed that there is a massive black hole in the center of our galaxy

Supermassive black holes are common in the universe – they have been found in almost every scientific galaxy examined. The black hole in the middle of the Milky Way, Sagittarius A *, is 25,000 light-years away and 4 million times heavy in our day.

The discrete discrete A * & # 39; s accretion is about 100 million miles wide, or slightly wider than the distance between Earth and the sun.

In October 2018, astronomers announced that they had noticed Sagittarius A * sucking hot blobs of hot gas at 30% of light speed – 201 million mph. That triggered three powerful radiation explosions that were detected by telescopes on Earth.

 milky way galaxy center spitzer infrared

Milky Way galaxy center, replicated by Spitzer Space Telescope infrared cameras, October 9, 2019.

NASA, JPL-Caltech, Susan Stolovy (SSC / Caltech) et al.


At the time, the study's authors stated that the flares "provide a long-awaited confirmation that the object at the center of our galaxy is, as has long been assumed, a very large one. black hole. "

Josephine Peters, an astrophysicist at the University of Oxford who was not involved in the study, told Business Insider that the observations followed material "as close as you can't get to a black hole when not consumed here. "

But Peters added that Sagittarius A * "is incredibly mysterious."

The more scientists learn about black holes like Sagittarius A *, the better directors like Nolan can portray them in Hollywood blockbusters.


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