Note was made of three locations in two countries. Quasar was clearly seen 2 million times finer than the sight of man.
An international team of astronomers could observe the heart of a distant quasar with unprecedented clarity, equivalent to two million times finer than human vision. The observations were made through a link Telescope Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) for the other two in different continents for the first time can be as sharp an image. This is a crucial step toward the goal of the dramatic scientific project “Event Horizon Telescope” to know, image of the supermassive black holes at the center of our galaxy and others.
The call was made from the astronomers connected APEX, Chile, the Submillimeter Array (SMA) in Hawaii, USA, and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) which is in Arizona. With this they were able to make a clear direct observation and sharp from the center of a distant galaxy, the quasar 3C 279, which contains a supermassive black hole with a mass about one billion times the Sun, and is so far from Earth that their light took more than 5 billion years to reach us. APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO, and the APEX is operated by ESO.
Understand how telescopes were connected
The telescopes were connected using a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). Larger telescopes can make sharper observations and interferometry allows multiple telescopes to act as a single telescope. Using VLBI, the major observations can be achieved by making the separation between telescopes as large as you can imagine. For their observations of quasars, the team used three telescopes to create an interferometer with a length of 9447 km transcontinental basis of Chile to Hawaii, 7174 km from Chile to Arizona and 4627 km from Arizona to Hawaii.Connecting the network APEX in Chile was fundamental, because it contributed to the higher baseline and one of the greatest discoveries ever made by astronomers.
Observations were made on radio waves with a wavelength of 1.3 mm.
observations achieved an angular resolution or sharpness, of only 28 microarcseconds – billionths of about 8 degrees. This represents the ability to distinguish details amazing two million times sharper than human vision. Comments can view as refined scales less than a light year across the quasar – a remarkable achievement for a target that is billions of light years away.
The observations represent a new benchmark for the image of supermassive black holes and the regions around them. In the future we intend to connect telescopes even more powerful that way for more distant and sharper images can be captured. The powerful Event Horizon Telescope will be able to make images of the shadow of the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy and other galaxies nearby. The shadow – a dark region seen against a brighter background – is caused by the bending of light by the black hole, and be the first direct evidence for the observation of a black hole, assuming that even light can escape.
Today, this experiment marks the first time that APEX has a stake in VLBI observations, and is the end of three years of intensive work of APEX, which stands for the plateau at an altitude of about 5000 meters of Chajnantor in the Chilean Andes, where atmospheric pressure is half that of the sea level.Scientists from Germany and Sweden are installing new digital systems of data acquisition, an extremely accurate atomic clock and data recorders pressurized capazez recording 4 gigabits per second and for many hours even under strict environmental conditions. The data – 4 terabytes each telescope – were sent to Germany on hard disks and processed at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn.
The success of APEX is also important to share your location and also many aspects of its technology with the new telescope Atacama Millimeter Array, ALMA. ALMA in construction and is finally composed of optical elements 54 with a diameter of 12 meters even APEX, and smaller elements 12, with a diameter of 7 meters. The possibility of connecting to the network ALMA is currently being studied. This would put the shadow of the Milky Way’s supermassive hole within reach of future observations.