The English Roger Penrose, the German Reinhard Genzel and the American Andrea Ghez, were recognized with the Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 for their work on “the darkest secrets of the universe”, black holes.
These works on black holes began in the 1970s and Dr. Luis Felipe Rodríguez Jorge, a Mexican astronomer and researcher, was one of its precursors.
In an interview with Pascal Beltrán del Río, the doctor said that in 1979 he published an article where he reported a gas around a black hole in the center of the galaxy.
Although at that time they did not know that it was a black hole.
Later, the now Nobel Prize winner Roger Penrose published a similar article, but at the time it did not have much impact. It all started because at the beginning of the 70s, a group of two American radio astronomers studied that region and “found a point that emitted quite strong radio waves.
It was not clear what they were “but people began to study the environment and began to find that” the gas moved very fast, it rotated very fast “and that was when studies began to be published.
The doctor said that Penrose spent 30 years studying the presence of this black hole, which had to be demonstrated not by the movement of the gas that was around it, but by the movement of the stars.
It was until Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez developed that new idea, with new technology, observing the stars.
There it was accepted that there was a body with a very large mass.
It was then that Penrose managed to demonstrate the presence of the hole with a mass of 4 million solar masses.
He detailed that when he did the study of it in the 1970s, he obtained a similar result with five million solar masses. The American Andrea Ghez, made similar studies and reached the same conclusion.
Dr. Rodríguez explained that he was very intrigued by the possibility of studying something that could not be seen in light and that was what led him to investigate this black hole in the center of the galaxy.
He remembered that he was at Harvard and came from the Mexican tradition of doing a lot of observation but in the visible light of the stars.
Then it was shown that using radio waves, you could see things that were not seen in light and that was what led him to observe that region.
Later they began to use infrared telescopes, which he explained, penetrate the dust and allow us to see what is happening with the stars, no longer with the gas.
Explaining what a black hole is, the astronomer pointed out that on Earth, one feels the force of gravity, but one can escape from it, for example with a rocket that reaches space.
In a black hole, the force of gravity is so great that nothing can escape, not even light, he explained.
Phenomena have even been observed where a star is disrupted by the black hole and the gas it gives off falls into the hole.
Finally, he explained that for us on Earth, a black hole does not affect us at all, it is only important in its vicinity.
When asked what would happen if someone falls into a black hole, the researcher pointed out that as we approach a black hole, “gravity is so great that the feet would have more attraction than the head, which would elongate us and burst like a league”.
Then we would fall into the black hole and although he pointed out that no one has ever been inside one, they know that he would go through the studies.