“Seeing” a Black Hole

Every visualization you’ve ever seen of a black hole has been an illustration. As Vox points out, the closest the scientific community has ever come to seeing one was through last year’s observation of “spacetime-warping gravitational waves radiating” from the billion-year-old collision of two black holes. This is because black holes are small, far away, dark and surrounded by bright things. Now, however, a planet-sized tool called the Event Horizon Telescope has been tasked with capturing an image. This isn’t a telescope as we know it, with large mirrors. It’s a virtual project tapping eight telescope locations across the globe to focus on Sagittarius A (at the center of the Milky Way) for a few days. They’ll pick up massive amounts of radio frequencies and scientists will actually translate that to a real image our eyes can see. And who knows what that will actually look like.