How we’re seeing black holes as never before… and a whole lot more.
It was only back in the early 2000s that scientists were struggling to identify and weigh the small number of supermassive black holes that we’d been able to identify in the known Universe, but the past 15–20 years have led to a revolution in what we know about them. We’ve identified tens of thousands of active galaxies, pinned down the masses of some of the closest ones to us through a variety of techniques, and even observed the event horizon of our first black hole directly.
These powerful advances were mainly enabled by superior observatories and instruments, and the spectacular Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array (ALMA) of telescopes, which was indispensible to measuring the mass and imaging the event horizon at the core of the largest massive galaxy in our neighborhood: M87.
I’m so pleased to welcome astronomer and Ph.D. Candidate Kyle Kabasares onto the show, where we talk about black holes, mass measurements, ALMA, and the future of black hole-related astronomy! Kyle is also passionate about science outreach, and you can check out his YouTube channel here.
Starts With A Bang is written by Ethan Siegel, Ph.D., author of Beyond The Galaxy, and Treknology: The Science of Star Trek from Tricorders to Warp Drive.