Behold, the First Photo and Video of an ACTUAL Black Hole… [Update: Thank you MIT Grad Student Katie Bouman!]

Ladies, Gentlemen, and everyone in-between; we have witnessed a major milestone in astronomy. After many, many years of depending on computer-generated images based on the what the theory of general relativity has predicted for decades, we finally have an actual image of a black hole in space. I know, I know; IT’S FINALLY HAPPENED!!! A collaboration of scientists worldwide used the Event Horizon (heh-heh) Telescope to find this gigantic — that’s putting it lightly — black hole located in the Messier 87 galaxy that measures up to 6.5 million times the mass of the Sun.  The image shows a sort-of-shadow made by the event horizon bending and sucking in light.

Cappan via Getty Images

The recipe required to get the image included:
1) Connecting eight existing high-altitude telescopes located worldwide to create a high enough angular resolution image,
2) Synchronizing atomic clocks and using the Earth’s rotation to its advantage, and
3) Combining petabytes of raw data from those telescopes using supercomputers at the Max Planck Institute and MIT’s Haystack Observatory.

So yeah; it was no small task.

It look like the Event Horizon Telescope will be getting improved in the near future, as its sensitivity will be  “substantially increased” when the Greenland Telescope, IRAM NOEMA Observatory and Kitt Peak Telescopes join the party.


Also, this:

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