Category: Weekend links

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. In coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers revealed that they succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of the supermassive black hole in the centre of Messier 87 and its shadow. The shadow of a black hole seen here is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object from which light cannot escape. The black hole’s boundary — the event horizon from which the EHT takes its name — is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 40 billion km across. While this may sound large, this ring is only about 40 microarcseconds across — equivalent to measuring the length of a credit card on the surface of the Moon. Although the telescopes making up the EHT are not physically connected, they are able to synchronize their recorded data with atomic clocks — hydrogen masers — which precisely time their observations. These observations were collected at a wavelength of 1.3 mm during a 2017 global campaign. Each telescope of the EHT produced enormous amounts of data – roughly 350 terabytes per day – which was stored on high-performance helium-filled hard drives. These data were flown to highly specialised supercomputers — known as correlators — at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and MIT Haystack Observatory to be combined. They were then painstakingly converted into an image using novel computational tools developed by the collaboration.

Weekend Links: Our Brains Are Getting Smaller, the Secret Code of Sea Shells, the Proper Way to Nap and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: Corn Turns Wild Hamsters into Cannibals, Earth’s Weirdest Creatures, Why Anyone Can Be a Scientist and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: What Causes the Urge for Late-night Snacking, Hip-hop Music Makes for Tastier Cheese and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: Rats Can’t Puke, Why Cats Always Land on Their Feet, People Who Can Actually Smell Parkinson’s and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: Insect Powder Could Be the Next Whey Protein, Tasting with Your Eyes, Bringing Back the Woolly Mammoth and More

Weekend Links is a collection of science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: Opium-Addicted Parrots, Reasons for Excessive Robocalls, Climate Change-themed Leggings and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: The Importance of Biodegradable Mardi Gras Beads, 6 Possible Scientific Reasons for Ghosts and More

Does constant use of technology negatively impact brain health? Do you and your dog have similar personalities?

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Weekend Links: the Origin of the Five Second Rule, Why Zebras Have Stripes and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: Valentine’s Edition

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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Weekend Links: Bees Can Do Math, Oceans Are Changing Color, Why Clowns Are Scary and More

Welcome to Weekend Links, a collection of fascinating science stories from across the web, curated by your science-loving friends at the Mass General Research Institute.

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