Astronomers capture first image of a black hole
For the first time, astronomers have managed to take a photo of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. They used the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a worldwide network of eight radio telescopes, that together form a virtual telescope the size of the earth. The news was presented in six press conferences around the world simultaneously.
The results will be published in six scientific articles in a special edition of Astrophysical Journal Letters. The photo shows the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole is 55 million light-years from earth and is 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun.
Interlinking the eight telescopes has resulted in unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. Time after time, independent observations with the EHT, using different imaging techniques, have revealed a circular-type structure, with a dark area in the middle, a shadow of the black hole in M87. (More)