M87 black hole

45Kelv HiRes Skynet_58287_201806018_messier_87

Tom Finkenbinder provided this information to go along the feature image and the Skynet and multi-messenger Astronomy slide presentation:

Shortly before the presentation I made at AHSP 2018 at Spruce Knob last Fall, I asked for ideas from the Skynet team at UNC about the radio astronomy features they added to the network with the refurbished 20 meter radio telescope at NRAO Greenbank.  They encouraged me to have a look at M87, the data products are accessible through this link.  Ignore the psychedelia in two of the images (one of the cameras was offline – it’s noise).  Notice instead the compact, nearly circular images.  Mind you I didn’t know exactly what I was looking at.  Sue Ann Heatherly at Greenbank kindly informed that M87 had a presumed supermassive black hole at the center and the data captured show synchrotron radiation surrounding the black hole imaged at 1.4 GHz.  M87 is one of the brightest and most studied objects in the radio sky.

Understanding “synchrotron radiation” requires some Googling on the Internet, it was highlighting new Skynet features that included radio.  They had it physically connected to Skynet for a couple of years before the algorithms were finished to make the scans.  I used a 12-petal daisy pattern to image M87 (it’s also shown through the link).  Those features had been online less than a year at the time of the presentation at Spruce last Fall.  Discussion of the new features begins with the slide “Radio Astronomy” in the slide deck.

As always, extra special thanks Dr. Dan R. at UNC.



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