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First image of black hole at the heart of our galaxy

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Astronomers from Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration have unveiled an image of a supermassive black hole at the centre of our own Milky Way galaxy

Pictured for the very first time, the gargantuan black hole that lives at the centre of our galaxy provides valuable insight into the workings of such giants, which are thought to exist at the centre of most galaxies.

Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around a massive, invisible, and compact object, resembling a black hole and this image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.

At an approximate distance of 27,000 light years from Earth, Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*, pronounced “sadge-ay-star”) appears to us to be the same size in the sky as a donut on the moon.

To image it, the global research team created the powerful EHT, which linked together eight existing radio observatories across the planet to form a single “Earth-sized” virtual telescope.

Although it is not possible to see the black hole itself, as it is completely dark, the glowing gas around it reveals a dark central region (called a “shadow”) surrounded by a bright ring-like structure.

The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole, which is four million times more massive than the Sun.

“We were stunned by how well the size of the ring agreed with predictions from Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity,” says EHT Project Scientist Geoffrey Bower from the Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taipei.

“These unprecedented observations have greatly improved our understanding of what happens at the very centre of our galaxy, and offer new insights on how these giant black holes interact with their surroundings.”

The EHT observed Sgr A* on multiple nights, collecting data for many hours in a row, similar to using a long exposure time on a camera.

The breakthrough follows the EHT 2019 collaboration’s release of the first image of a black hole called M87*, at the centre of the more distant Messier 87 galaxy.

Ticker News: Danaya Malenda contributed to this report.

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U.S. warns against hiring North Korean tech workers

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The U.S. is warning North Korean workers are trying to find IT jobs by hiding their identities

The U.S. believes workers are seeking to steal money for their home country.

Many of them are allegedly pretending to be from other parts of Asia, according to three U.S. agencies.

The State Department says thousands of highly skilled IT workers are sent around the world to generate revenue to help with North Korea’s weapons production.

“The DPRK [North Korea] dispatches thousands of highly skilled IT workers around the world to generate revenue that contributes to its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes, in violation of US and UN sanctions.”

U.S. State Department

If North Korea is employing workers to fund its missiles program, the move would be in violation of U.N. international sanctions.

“The United States is committed to disrupting illicit DPRK revenue-generating activities, which may facilitate criminal activity, provide direct support to the DPRK’s unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, and threaten international peace and security,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

The country has conducted several missile tests in recent months, including a banned intercontinental ballistic missile.

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Apple delays return to the office as COVID rates spike

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Apple has delayed its staff from returning to HQ on a full-time basis

Apple has delayed its workers from returning to the office full time.

Employees who are in the current working in the office two-day-per-week as part of a trial programme will have the option to once again work fully remote if they feel uncomfortable coming into the office.

According to news outlet The Verge, a memo released by Apple’s COVID-19 response team says that its updates are based on current infection rates and hospitalisations.

Apple is also requesting employees who do decide to return to the office to wear masks when in common areas like meeting rooms, hallways, and elevators.

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Social media giants slammed for spreading graphic footage from Buffalo shooting

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Social-media sites are being slammed for the spread of graphic and far-right material from Saturday’s horrific attack in Buffalo, New York

The gunman livestreamed the fatal shooting of 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket on Twitch.

The gut wrenching footage captured on the gunman’s helmet, was duplicated on other streaming sites after Twitch removed it.

Twitch was quick to take down the live stream, but meta and twitter still remain behind the eight ball and under heavy scrutiny.

The platforms say footage from the attack and links to the shooter’s manifesto are being actively removed.

While 22 viewers watched the stream live on Twitch, the Washington Post says a copy uploaded to an alternative streaming site was viewed more than three million times before its removal.

Facebook did not remove a link to the copy for more than 10 hours, racking up tens of thousands of views

Meta says it is removing and blocking copies of the livestream, the shooter’s manifesto and external links to them.

But Meta says some people have been trying to bypass its policies to post material from the attack online.

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