Apr 5, 2017

Humanity might soon get its first look at a black hole

NASA/Chandra X-ray Observatory/M.Weiss

We've all heard about black holes, but no one has actually captured an image of one, including the event horizon — the edge of a black hole from which light can't escape. For the first time, scientists have put together a worldwide project called the Event Horizon Telescope in an attempt to finally get a look at a black hole, per Vox.

  • The target: Sagittarius A, the presumed supermassive black hole that sits at the center of our galaxy, located about 26,000 light years away. For a sense of scale, trying to capture an image of Sagittarius A is like trying to snap a picture of a DVD on the moon, a University of Arizona astrophysicist told Vox.
  • The plan: Point 8 giant radio telescopes located around the world at Sagittarius A for 10 straight days — in effect, creating a virtual Earth-sized telescope — in an attempt to generate enough data to get a look.
  • The benefits: It could provide our best confirmation yet of Einstein's theory of relativity, and scientists might finally be able to test Stephen Hawking's theory that black holes lose mass over time.

Go deeper

Pompeo tells Congress Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Wednesday that he has certified to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China and does not warrant special treatment under U.S. law.

The big picture: The Chinese Communist Party has unveiled a sweeping new security law that will criminalize sedition, foreign influence and secession in Hong Kong. The move and the subsequent reaction from the U.S. has put the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs at risk.

Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump

Twitter came under fire on Tuesday for allowing President Trump to tweet conspiracy theories about Joe Scarborough and the 2001 death of one of his staffers, despite the objections of the staffer's family. The company came under further fire from Trump himself for fact-checking two of his tweets about mail-in voting.

Dan and the New York Times' Kara Swisher dig into Trump’s use of the platform and Twitter’s steps — and missteps — in handling it.

Go deeper: Trump has turned Big Tech's speech rules into a political football

26 mins ago - Technology

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,618,829 — Total deaths: 351,146 — Total recoveries — 2,311,404Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 1,681,793 — Total deaths: 98,933 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine — Nearly half of Americans say someone in their household has delayed medical care.
  4. Tech: Zipline drones deliver masks to hospitals; vaccines could be next
  5. Business: Boeing to lay off 6,770 more U.S. employees.
  6. 🏒Sports: NHL unveils 24-team playoff plan to return from hiatus.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy