Published on 2 Jul 2019
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The recent photo of a black hole is something extraordinary. Here’s why.
– Black holes are usually surrounded by disks of very, very bright, very hot material. And that’s how we find them.
– Black holes themselves give off no radiation at all. Any light gets absorbed into the black hole — all forms of light, from gamma rays to radio waves.
– A black hole’s gravity is so strong it actually bends space itself. What does this mean? There’s no way to get out of the black hole — out of the event horizon — because space and time themselves are bent into the black hole.
Dr. Michelle Thaller is an astronomer who studies binary stars and the life cycles of stars. She is Assistant Director of Science Communication at NASA. She went to college at Harvard University, completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif. then started working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Spitzer Space Telescope. After a hugely successful mission, she moved on to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), in the Washington D.C. area. In her off-hours often puts on about 30lbs of Elizabethan garb and performs intricate Renaissance dances.