Seeing the unseeable: photographing a black hole with the Event Horizon Telescope
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Astrophysicist Monika Moscibrodzka, member of the Event Horizon Telescope team, explains the importance of the team’s major scientific breakthrough: taking the first ever photo of a black hole.
On April 10th of this year, The Event Horizon Telescope team, consisting of scientists all over the world, made headlines worldwide. They presented the first ever image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. Constructing the image was an immense coordinated effort, and the team worked for decades with eight large telescopes spread around the world to be able to produce this image.
The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. This long-sought image provides the strongest evidence to date for the existence of supermassive black holes and opens a new window onto the study of black holes, their event horizons, and gravity.
In this lecture, Monika Moscibrodzka describes how scientists were able to make the extraordinary image and explains what it means for our knowledge about physics. Dr. Monika Moscibrodzka is assistant professor in Astrophysics at Radboud University in Nijmegen, and a member of the Event Horizon Telescope team that worked on the development of the black hole image.