Published on Apr 10, 2019
April 10, 2019: ESO, ALMA, and APEX contribute to paradigm-shifting observations of the gargantuan black hole at the heart of the galaxy Messier 87. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow. This breakthrough was announced today in a series of six papers published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The image reveals the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun. Although taken from the staggering distance of 55 million light-years, the image revealed a ring-like structure with a dark central region. For the first time in history: The shadow of a black hole! The EHT links telescopes around the globe to form an unprecedented Earth-sized virtual telescope . The EHT offers scientists a new way to study the most extreme objects in the Universe predicted by Einstein’s general relativity during the centenary year of the historic experiment that first confirmed the theory. https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1907/ https://phys.org/news/2019-04-astrono...