October 2022 Meetup: Imaging Black Holes using Space-Based Radio Telescopes

As part of our Open Source Satellite Programme, we host regular online hangouts that provide a platform to share ideas and knowledge. We also discuss the trends and news from the ever-growing Open Source community and how they relate to the space and satellite sector.

For our October hangout we were joined by KISPE Systems Engineer, Ben Hudson, who discussed using space-based radio telescopes to image black holes.

In 2019, the ground-based Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) generated the first image of the supermassive black hole M87*, using the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) technique.

Expanding the telescope array into space can drastically improve resolution, producing far higher quality images.

These can be used to conducts tests of general relativity by estimating the black hole mass and spin, allowing us to better understand some of the most extreme objects in our universe.

A radio telescope constellation conducting VLBI is a highly challenging mission concept to implement but has the potential to start a new era of astrophysical observation, until now unreachable with current systems.

Watch the video below to get involved with the discussion.

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