Event Horizon Telescope data are giving scientists an image of the Milky Way’s behemoth
BY LISA GROSSMAN
09:58AM, MARCH 29, 2019
We’re about to see the first close-up of a black hole.
The Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio observatories spanning the globe, has set its sights on a pair of behemoths: Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center, and an even more massive black hole 53.5 million light-years away in galaxy M87 (SN Online: 4/5/17).
In April 2017, the observatories teamed up to observe the black holes’ event horizons, the boundary beyond which gravity is so extreme that even light can’t escape (SN: 5/31/14, p. 16). After almost two years of rendering the data, scientists are gearing up to release the first images in April.
Here’s what scientists hope those images can tell us.