The image captured of the black hole, which is 6.5 billion times more massive than our Sun and 55 million trillion light-years from Earth
Photo: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration
The first photo capturing a black hole was revealed on Wednesday during press conferences held in six different cities around the world.
The image, showing a black hole 6.5 billion times more massive than our sun and 55 million trillion light-years from Earth, is the result of international collaboration for the Event Horizon Telescope initiative, which links telescopes around the globe to create a virtual, Earth-sized telescope. The team was comprised of over 200 researchers.
EHT project director Sheperd S. Doeleman said of the experiment: "We have achieved something presumed to be impossible just a generation ago. Breakthroughs in technology, connections between the world's best radio observatories, and innovative algorithms all came together to open an entirely new window on black holes and the event horizon."
Carlos Moedas, European Commission for Research, Science and Innovation, speaking at the Brussels press conference, said: “For my generation, it’s all about the imagination of something between science and fiction.”
The experiment tests Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity, put forth around 100 years ago. Moedas said he wondered about what was in store for 100 years from now. “Science today is giving a lesson to politicians,” Moedas added.
Simultaneous press conferences were also held in Washington, DC (US), Shanghai (China), Tokyo (Japan), Taipei (Taiwan) and Santiago (Chile).