Listen: Where were you when you saw the first picture of the black hole?
"Pamela, this is a conversation that is two years in the making it's been April twenty seventeen astronomers from around the world turned their radio telescopes to wards the black holes at the heart of Imedi seven. And of course, the Milky Way and took pictures of the black holes at the hearts of both of them. And today this week Tuesday was it we Wednesday Haley the tenth two days ago Wednesday. I'm so tired. We. That I picture announcement. So where were you when you saw it? I was in the attic of my house live streaming the event with our Kuzma quest community on twitch dot TV slash cosmic west X where you should all be watching and sharing streams. And so we were hanging out watching it together. And I don't know about you. But I had this moment of okay? So they they got us with them eighty seven at the beginning. And now we're going to have that Steve Jobs. We're thing. But the thing was that never ever happened. And and I don't know about you. But about fifteen minutes into the press conference. I started getting nailed with press releases coming to us from Rick Feinberg and his fabulous press service at the AA S and I'm flipping through them. And I'm like, oh, expletive. There aren't going to be other images. This is it we only get 'em eighty-seven. And I sat there is like the science matches perfectly. And I am sad. Because I wanted our milky wet. I literally of this is great. Where's where's the where say J star? Like, the like, this will be the consolation prize. The main event the first course was supposed to be the black hole heart of the milk away. And it's funny literally moments into this whole process. I started to dig and talked to all of my contacts try and figure out why. So I do know. Probably kinda why. Compare stories because I did the same thing. Great. Okay. All right. So I'd her two reasons the first one is that the that essentially the there's a lot of dust in the Milky Way, we are inside the Milky Way with the supermassive black hole, the heart of the Milky Way. And so that dust is a is a harder thing to tease out of the signal and sort of the resolving distance of the adventure is Intel scope matched up in a way that made it a tougher image together. But the second one that I love even more is that the the is essentially that because the secretary say is a smaller black hole only four point one million times the mass of the sun. It's the and matters swirling around it so fast. It's a much more dynamic environment. And so they went with eighty seven because it is six billion times. The mass of the sun. And so the matter is swirling around it at the speed of light. But it still takes days to go around as opposed to minutes to go around. And so they were able to it was everything happened more in slow motion. They could test their techniques, and then try them out on on the supermassive black hole within the Milky Way. What what did you hear? I heard that. And then I also heard one more facet to that. Which is the angular size on the sky. So the apparent size that the black holes appear because they're two different. Distances means that Sanjay start isn't really bigger, even though it's closer 'cause it's a tiny little thing. And so we don't really get added detail on the part that's Limonov luminous enough to see now, my personal hope is that because we're seeing a faster moving system, and we're seeing close. Or system where the Limonov St. of the innermost part of the accretion disk were not seeing the black hole receiving the shadow of the lack whole my hope is that because that accretion disk is so much fainter. We're gonna get to see other faint stuff around it that isn't lost to the bright stuff. So even though the black hole shadow itself will appear probably about the same number of pixels in size hoping that there's going to be other stuff in the image as well. Yeah. And and the other kind of exciting thing is that because it is changing so dynamically there could be a possibility that we might see like an animation exactly exactly see events in folding over time to actually show what's going on environment. So it sounds like I mean, these two black holes they are the biggest visually on the sky. They're both some blue to Christly small number forty micro arc seconds or so. Something like that. I I've heard them say, you know, the size of a golf ball on the moon the size of an orange on the moon, very small, but they are both roughly the same size is just that the one eighty seven is two thousand times bigger and two thousand times farther"