First Image of Supermassive Black Hole M87. Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.
Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. 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. Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration.


As Founding Director of the Event Horizon Telescope effort, my research focuses on studying super massive black holes with sufficient resolution to directly observe the event horizon itself. To do this our group assembles global networks of telescopes that observe at millimeter wavelengths to create an Earth-size virtual telescope using the technique of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI). We target SgrA*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and M87, a giant elliptical galaxy, for this work. Both of these objects present to us the largest apparent event horizons in the Universe, and both can be resolved by (sub)millimeter VLBI arrays. We call this project the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).