Black_hole_-_Messier_87

Scientists release first ever photo of black hole


The composite photo, the first ever to be made, was released on April 10, 2019. It was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) array that comprises millimeter- and submillimeter-wavelength telescopes separated by distances comparable to the diameter of the Earth.

The observation was made in April 2017, and involved collecting petabytes of raw VLBI voltage signal data (around 5 PB). It took nearly 2 years to turn this massive amount of data into this image. Because the image was stitched together from multiple angles, it looks smooth, but is a low resolution image.  The algorithm that made it possible to reconstruct the image from the data was developed by Katie Bouman, a PhD student at MIT, currently an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at the California Institute of Technology.

The black hole is at the center of galaxy Messier 87 (M87), and was first observed in 1918. 

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