The first image of a black hole
The astronomers announced that, for the first time ever, they had captured a black hole in the picture. The historical image was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and can confirm what has previously only been theories.
EHT is an international network of radio telescopes that link telescopes all over the world so that together they work as a huge telescope, as large as the earth. The image shows a ring of light that surrounds a black hole in the heart of the galaxy Messier 87, a giant galaxy about 55 million light-years from Earth.
– We have seen what we did not think went to see, says Dr. Shep Doeleman, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
The image has been generated in collaboration between eight terrestrial telescopes located at different locations in the world; Spain, Mexico, Chile, USA, Hawaii, and the South Pole. A project that has taken eight years to put together. When everything was ready to start, it was just waiting for the right weather. Something that was not the easiest as it was required that all telescopes had clear visibility and good weather, at the same time. The observation was made for a full week in April 2017.
The work opens the door to allow astronomers and physicists to put Einstein’s theories of gravity and general relativity to the test under the most extreme conditions of the universe.
For more information on how this amazing observation was made, see our long program “How do you see a black hole? Event Horizon Telescope on the verge of a breakthrough”
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