AiS Challenge Team Interim Report
Team Number: 054
School Name: Moriarty High School
Area of Science: Astrophysics
Project Title: The Detection of Blackholes
Project DefinitionThe purpose of our project is to determine a method
for the detection of blackholes in space. If proven accurate, this will give us
more knowledge on how blackholes move and where they are located. We will write
a C++ program to detect the presence of a blackhole by observing the changes in
the constellations around a simulated blackhole. Our math model will include the
use of similar triangles and an Einstein angle.
Plan to Solve the Problem ComputationallyWe plan to solve this problem
by using Einstein angles and similar triangles to determine the position of the
black hole by calculating the distortion it causes in surrounding
constellations, then putting these calculations and concepts in to a math model
for use in a C++ program. We have now found several formulas which should aid us
in our work including the formula for finding the Einstein angle, the formula to
find out how far away from the hole the star was moved and a few others.
Progress to DateWe are currently gathering data and mathematical
equations to help us come up with a math model, as well as give us some insight
as to how to go about doing this project in the most efficient way. We have also
been gathering constellation maps and some information on black holes which may
be useful in making our project. We now know one way to detect a fairly massive
black hole, given to us from a scientist, Joshua Barnes:
"If a fairly
massive black hole were to pass by a few lights years from our solar system, one
sign of its passage might be the distortions it would produce in distant
constellations. For example, if a black hole were to pass between us and
Pleades, we might detect it by noticing that the stars in the Pleades
constellation seemed to shift from their usual positions. Of course, this shift
is due to the black hole acting as a gravitational lens; after the hole had
passed by, the stars would return to their usual places. This might even be the
only sign that a black hole passed us by, since something so black is pretty
hard to see."
Expected ResultsWe originally expected that when we had completed our
project we will have come up with a possilbe way of detecting black holes by
observing the changes in the constellations around possible black holes. Also,
we planned to have more knowledge on how black holes move and where they are
located, as well as learning more about similar triangles and an Einstein angle.
We now expect, in addition to those things, to use the idea given to us by
Joshua Barnes to get our project under way, using the basic theories above.