Scientists who captured the first image of a black hole were recently awarded an “Oscars of Science” for their astronomy achievement.
The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team, which revealed photos of a mega black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87 in April, won a $3 Million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics, said a Breakthrough Prize press statement.
The Breakthrough Prize, an annual competition that recognizes the world’s top scientists, recognized the EHT team for their supermassive black hole imagery that was taken by an Earth-sized alliance of telescopes.
Earlier this year, the EHT team, which was a global collaboration of scientists, used eight radio telescopes that were strategically placed around the world in Antarctica, Arizona, Chile, Hawaii, Mexico, and Spain to capture an image of a black hole for the first time.
The EHT team synchronized each telescope with a network of atomic clocks and developed a virtual telescope as large as our planet.
One of the EHT Collaboration’s first targets was a supermassive black hole located at the heart of the Messier 87 galaxy.
After studying the data with algorithms and techniques, the team created an image of this celestial giant, which was silhouetted against warm gas surrounding the black hole and matched expectations from Albert Einstein’s theory of gravity, an illuminated ring marking the point where light orbits the black hole, surrounding a very dark region where light can’t exit the black hole’s gravitational pull.
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