"As I like to say, it's never a good idea to bet against Einstein," Astrophysicist Shep Doeleman told Science Friday in 2016, when the Horizon Telescope project of the Event was underway. Now, this week, astronomers and astrophysicists celebrate the first image of a black hole, an image that offers more evidence of Einstein's theory of general relativity.
At an illuminated press conference on Wednesday, April 10, scientists shared the image for the first time: a ring of twisted light, slightly blurred, surrounding a dark shadow. The global network of telescopes could visualize this supermbadive black hole 55 million light years away, at the core of the Messier 87 galaxy, or M87. But even when the image confirms current ideas about gravity, it also raises new questions about galaxy formation and quantum physics. Director of Event Horizon Telescope Shep Doelemen and Feryal ORZel, a professor of astrophysics at the University of Arizona and an EHT studies scientist, helps us wrap our minds around the image. And Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo, badistant professor of physics and research professor at Canada at the University of Montreal joins the conversation to talk about what scientists would like to discover next.
Relive the moment in which the image was published and explore the simulations, infographics and images of the Horizon Telescope investigation of the Event below.
The artist's impression of the environment around a black hole shows the superheated plasma accretion disk and a relativistic jet. The video also shows the paths of photons in the vicinity of a black hole, and how the Telescope matrix of the event horizon captured the light of the gravitational curvature of the event horizon. Credit: Nicolle R. Fuller / NSF
- Read the papers about M87 and the image of the black hole in The letters of the astrophysical magazine
- See the image and read about the background of the Horizon Telescope project of the Event in the breaking news of Science Friday.
- Find out what Experimenters and theorists want to investigate below with the EHT data in Science Friday.
- Listen out to a Science Friday 2016 interview with Shep Doeleman and Priyamvada Natarajan about creating black hole images.
- Learn more about the Event Horizon Telescope project.
- Want to learn more about black holes? Take a step beyond the Science Friday coverage.