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Einstein's Shadow - Seth Fletcher

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#1 RyanSem

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Posted 14 January 2020 - 11:14 PM

The most recent astro book I've completed is Einstein's Shadow by Seth Fletcher. Published in October 2018, it details the events that led up to the Event Horizon Telescope taking the first picture of a black hole. 

 

This is a fairly quick read, and is semi-biographical with a focus on Shep Doeleman's role as the director of the EHT. While this book doesn't dive too much into the physics of black holes, there is a ton of information about the various radio telescopes that made up the EHT array. It was neat to read the challenges Shep and his team faced when gearing up to take a picture of a black hole, and definitely left me with a better understanding of radio astronomy - something we don't get too much of on this forum. 

 

Because the book was published in 2018, and the findings of the study were revealed in 2019, the story doesn't actually cover the media frenzy surrounding the image's announcement. I hope the author re-releases this book with a few additional chapters at the end detailing late-2018 to the grand unveiling in 2019. The version that I read actually had the black hole picture on the cover, which led me to believe it would be discussed within - so it was a little anticlimactic to finish the book without a mention of what happened. There are a couple questions I'd like answered, such as did Shep's last name end up first on the study (assuming one has been published, thereby giving him credit?) And, did Heino Falcke ever get credit himself? Will someone win a Nobel from this discovery? I'll have to look up these answers on my own. 


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