The first direct image of a black hole at the center of the galaxy M87. The bright doughnut-like ring is formed by light bending around the black hole due to its enormous gravity. Image: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration
The 347 members of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, credited with capturing the first image of a supermassive black hole’s “shadow” at the heart of a giant elliptical galaxy, will share the $3 million 2020 Breakthrough Prize in fundamental physics. Shep Doeleman of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics will accept the award on behalf of the collaboration at a 3 November ceremony at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
“Using eight sensitive radio telescopes strategically positioned around the world in Antarctica, Chile, Mexico, Hawaii, Arizona and Spain, a global collaboration of scientists at 60 institutions operating in 20 countries and regions captured an image of a black hole for the first time,” the Breakthrough Prize said in a statement.
“By synchronizing each telescope using a network of atomic clocks, the team created a virtual telescope as large as the Earth, with a resolving power never before achieved from the surface of our planet. One of their first targets was the ...