First Image of a Black Hole

Eso_eso1907a_1024

eso_eso1907a April 10th, 2019

Credit: EHT Collaboration

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration was designed to capture images of a black hole. In coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers revealed that they succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of the supermassive black hole in the centre of Messier 87 and its shadow. The shadow of a black hole seen here is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object from which light cannot escape. The black holes boundary the event horizon from which the EHT takes its name is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 40 billion km across. While this may sound large, this ring is only about 40 microarcseconds across equivalent to measuring the length of a credit card on the surface of the Moon. Although the telescopes making up the EHT are not physically connected, they are able to synchronize their recorded data with atomic clocks hydrogen masers which precisely time their observations. These observations were collected at a wavelength of 1.3 mm during a 2017 global campaign. Each telescope of the EHT produced enormous amounts of data roughly 350 terabytes per day which was stored on high-performance helium-filled hard drives. These data were flown to highly specialised supercomputers known as correlators at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy and MIT Haystack Observatory to be combined. They were then painstakingly converted into an image using novel computational tools developed by the collaboration.

Provider: European Southern Observatory

Image Source: https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1907a/

Curator: European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, None, Germany

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
M87* Messier 87
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Component > Central Black Hole
Eso_eso1907a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 12h 30m 49.4s
DEC = 12° 23’ 28.0”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
0.0 x 0.0 arcminutes
Constellation
Virgo

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Orange Event Horizon Telescope (None) Millimeter (None) 1.3 mm
Spectrum_ir1
Orange
Eso_eso1907a_1280
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ID
eso1907a
Subject Category
C.5.4.6  
Subject Name
M87*, Messier 87
Credits
EHT Collaboration
Release Date
2019-04-10T15:07:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1907a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Event Horizon Telescope
Instrument
None
Color Assignment
Orange
Band
Millimeter
Bandpass
None
Central Wavelength
1300000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
187.70593075, 12.39112325
Reference Dimension
7416.0, 4320.0
Reference Pixel
3738.9937831, 3032.00448074
Scale
-1.04762776734e-11, 1.04762776734e-11
Rotation
0
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
coordinates tagged by ESO/Mahdi Zamani
Creator (Curator)
European Southern Observatory
URL
https://www.eso.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2
City
Garching bei München
State/Province
None
Postal Code
D-85748
Country
Germany
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
European Southern Observatory
Publisher ID
eso
Resource ID
eso1907a
Metadata Date
2021-03-30T15:14:03.629448
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.