Africa Millimeter Telescope to help with black hole imaging

Date:22 April 2020 Author: Leila Stein Tags:,

Another telescope will join Africa’s impressive collection and contribute to discoveries among the cosmos. The Africa Millimeter Telescope (AMT) being built in Namibia will contribute to the global telescope network, Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

The first of it’s kind to be built in Namibia, the 15m single-dish telescope will sit on the Gamsberg mountain.

According to CNN, a millimeter wave telescope is designed to detect radio waves from objects in space whose wavelengths are in the region of one millimeter. These waves can penetrate the clouds of dust between a black hole and Earth.

This telescope project is being co-led by the Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Namibia. 

It is hoped that the addition of this telescope to the network will increase its ability to detect and study black holes in even more depth. The EHT made a major breakthrough this year when it presented direct evidence of the existence of black holes, thus proving Einstein’s theory of general relativity.

With more telescopes added to the network, there are more opportunities to get clearer images of black holes.

“At the moment when the existing telescopes in the network are not facing the black hole they have to wait until the Earth rotates again,” Eli Kasai an optical astronomer at the University of Namibia, told CNN. “It was this realization by the EHT scientists that spawned the AMT project.”

Image: ESO

Latest Issue :

May-June 2022