Harvard team raises black hole photo resolution: Unlike donuts, it’s a thousand layers of cake

Last April, a “high-spoof” black hole photo emerged, giving an impression of a red doughnut. Nearly a year later, on March 18, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics published the latest detailed simulation of this historic photo in the journal Science-Progress. The photo appears to have only one halo, which is in fact nested with numerous sub-rings, which is also in line with the prophecy of general relativity.

Michael Johnson, who led the study, was also a member of the first black hole photo photographer,’s Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). This, he explains, is that light has gone around the black hole many times before it reaches the telescope, forming an incalculable orbit of photons. As the number of orbits increases and the edges of the black hole shadow get closer, the width of the halo narrows exponentially, eventually negligiblely faint.

Harvard team raises black hole photo resolution: Unlike donuts, it's a thousand layers of cake

Black hole photos are nested with a series of increasingly narrow sub-rings

According to Einstein’s gravity field equation, if a large amount of matter is concentrated in space, space-time-distorted “vision” will form around the odd spot, and once inside the interface, even photons cannot escape.

As a result, the ontitus of a black hole is invisible and hidden in the darkness in the middle of the photograph. However, we can trace it back to the “vision” perimeter where photons disappear, where hot gases are sucked into a circle and glow by the rapid flow of turbulence.

In these complex nested halos, we are able to get a glimpse of the complex substructures that light forms when it is bent by extreme gravity. They are also the characteristic “fingerprints” of black holes.

Using computer software to simulate high-precision images of black holes that break down into layers of sub-images, researchers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics found a theory-to-reality photo-like fit. They believe that based on the size and shape of the black hole layer halo, scientists are expected to calculate the mass and spin properties of the black hole.

However, these sub-rings in the photo can not be distinguished with the naked eye, how to grasp their details?

EHT is an array of eight telescopes distributed around the world, which are jointly observed to form a large telescope with an effective diameter equal to the diameter of the Earth. Mr Johnson said that to “shoot” clear the aperture, it didn’t take so many telescopes, just two telescopes were far enough away to form an intervention.

He judged that by having a space telescope work with the EHT on the ground, he would get a clear subhalo signal.

Harvard team raises black hole photo resolution: Unlike donuts, it's a thousand layers of cake

The researchers believe that an additional Earth-orbiting telescope in eHT would have the effect of n-1, while the lunar telescope would have the effect of n-2.