What is a radio interferometer

That cannot be denied Black holes are the most destructive force in the universe, with their swirling, easy-swallowing throats devouring everything that transcends its dangerous event horizon.

Thanks to sophisticated modern instruments and deep-space probes, scientists are better able to spot these and investigate mysterious objects.It is high time we had a proper roadmap for the phenomenon of turmoil in order to adjust our spaceship trajectories and save us the potential nightmare of accidentally to be sucked into its enveloping clutches if we should ever venture that far.

An international team of scientists, led by The Netherland’s, is helping to identify the locations of these eerie places Leiden University recently submitted a comprehensive map for publication showing the locations of 25,000 supermassive black holes for the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

With this handy new tool, astronomers and astrophysicists can observe this document of the night sky, dusted with brilliant white lights that mark every known black hole and illuminated by the radio emissions of damned matter that is absorbed and expelled after a close encounter.

When creating this detailed sky map in the low radio frequency range, the astronomers involved in the project used 52 individual telescope stations with LOFAR antennas, which were distributed over the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Ireland, Latvia and the USA Italy. LOFAR (LOw-Frequency ARray) is a next-generation combined radio interferometer array that was built in the north of the Netherlands and completed in 2012.

In total, this cosmic mapping task required more than 256 hours of observation and additional years of analysis before this stunning map, which represents only 4% of the northern part of the sky, could even be created.

“This is the result of years of work on incredibly difficult data,” said research director and former Leiden University scientist Francesco de Gasperin said in the official press release. "We had to invent new methods to convert the radio signals into images of the sky."

To enter the emission details of the black hole and move each candidate to their future galaxy, the researchers used supercomputers enriched with algorithms to correct the distortion effect of the ionosphere every four seconds.

Co-author of the study, Reinout van Weeren of Leiden Observatory, explained that the effect is similar to trying to see the world from the bottom of a swimming pool, where your vision is affected by surface waves that deflect rays of light and change clarity.

"After many years of software development, it is so wonderful to see that this has now really worked," said the scientific director of the Leiden Observatory Huub Röttgering.

With only a tiny portion of the night sky searched for supermassive black holes, the dedicated team intends to use more of the new algorithm to further map the northern sky and document more of its infinite wonders in the near future.

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