Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

Seeing the ‘Unseeable’: Astronomers Capture First Image of a Black Hole

Observations made with the Event Horizon Telescope, a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes, have captured the first picture of a supermassive black hole. The black hole appears as a bright ring as it gravitationally bends the light around it into a bright ring that surrounds the black hole's dark shadow. The black hole in this portrait resides at the center of the galaxy M87, which lies at the heart of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, 55 million light years from Earth. NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer is a member of the EHT research team, and works closely with the University of Arizona EHT group led by professors Dimitrios Psaltis and Feryal Ozel.

Read more in the Event Horizon Telescope press release.

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  • How many and what kind of star clusters have been born in the history of the Magellanic Clouds? A new project, the Local Group Cluster Search, invites citizen scientists to help find out!

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  • A Virtual Tour of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: this visualization, featured in the documentary Seeing the Beginning of Time, gives us a virtual peek inside the LSST enclosure.

  • Astro2020 Science White Paper Coordination Hub: advertise your Decadal Survey science ideas, comment on science white paper topics, & find others with common interests.

  • Citizen Science program “Backyard Worlds: Planet 9” re-launched & announced the discovery of a record-setting white dwarf star. NOAO astronomer Aaron Meisner is a co-founder & science team member.

  • New Horizon’s departing view of Ultima Thule shows that the Kuiper Belt Object’s shape is actually quite odd. NOAO Astronomer Tod Lauer played a critical role in the investigation.

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