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Black hole observation

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:00 pm
by technovelist
This is one of the coolest science projects I've ever heard of. I'm pretty sure that 50 years ago it would have been considered impossible in the next 1000 years.

http://www.eventhorizontelescope.org/science/index.html

Re: Black hole observation

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:16 am
by rickb
technovelist wrote:This is one of the coolest science projects I've ever heard of. I'm pretty sure that 50 years ago it would have been considered impossible in the next 1000 years.

http://www.eventhorizontelescope.org/science/index.html
From their paper published in Science:
High frequency VLBI work at MIT Haystack Observatory is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation. The Submillimeter Array is a joint project between the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The Submillimeter Telescope is operated by the Arizona Radio Observatory (ARO). ARO is partially supported through the NSF University Radio Observatories (URO: AST-1140030) and ATI (AST-0905844) programs. The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope is operated by the Joint Astronomy Centre on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the UK, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, and the National Research Council of Canada. Funding for ongoing CARMA development and operations is supported by the NSF and the CARMA partner universities. We thank the NASA Geodesy Program for loan of the CARMA Hydrogen Maser; J. Test, P. Yamaguchi, G. Reiland, J. Hoge and M. Hodges for technical assistance; the staff at all participating facilities; J. Gracia and J. McKinney for providing jet simulation data used in this work; and Xilinx, Inc. for equipment donations. Data used in this paper are available in the supplementary materials.
How much of their funding do you suppose will go away under Trump's anti-science regime? I've sent them an email. I'll let you know what they say.

Re: Black hole observation

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:30 am
by sophie
Everyone is worried about NSF and NIH funding drying up. I took a close look at Trump's first 100 days white paper that included some specific budget plans. There was no mention of cutting funding to these agencies, and there was even a sentence implying that he might increase funding. Also don't forget that the Dept of Defense funds a lot of basic research, and their budgets are expected to increase.

I don't think Trump is "anti-science". In fact, he's spoken on several occasions of the need to improve the quality of the US school system. He's anti-global warming, specifically the hypothesis that human activity is causing it. It so happens that I agree with the science community on this one, but I don't feel entitled to extrapolate Trump's view on this one specific topic to encompass all of science.

Re: Black hole observation

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:57 pm
by Tortoise
technovelist wrote:This is one of the coolest science projects I've ever heard of. I'm pretty sure that 50 years ago it would have been considered impossible in the next 1000 years.

http://www.eventhorizontelescope.org/science/index.html
Very cool!

I also think it's amazing that we are just starting to learn how to detect gravitational waves, and that last year LIGO detected the merging of two black holes 1.3 billion light-years away by observing the massive gravitational waves the event sent rippling through the universe.

As we refine our instruments and techniques for observing gravitational waves, we are eventually going to be able to obtain gravitational "images" of the universe similar to the ones we already have in the various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum (visible, infrared, microwave, radio, etc.). Many objects and events that were previously "invisible" in the EM spectrum will then become "visible," opening up a whole new branch of astronomy.