Public Lecture Series: Bringing Black Holes into Focus with the Event Horizon Telescope

Albert Einstein predicted the existence of black holes over a century ago when he developed the theory of general relativity.

Today, his predictions are being tested through work being done to take the first-ever images of nearby black holes using an earth-sized telescope array, the Event Horizon Telescope.

The Event Horizon Telescope shared groundbreaking results from this effort involving partners around the world. A team from the University of Arizona has been integrally involved in this enormous scientific effort to gather the first-ever images of supermassive black holes.

On April 17, the university’s Public Lecture Series hosted a talk with the key members of the Event Horizon Telescope who shared the monumental efforts required to photograph black holes and discussed how we will know if Einstein was right.

EHT: A Planetary Effort to Photograph a Black Hole (SXSW 2019 Panel)

EHT: A Planetary Effort to Photograph a Black Hole (SXSW 2019 Panel)

Recording of a series of 4 presentations and a Question & Answer session from the panel named “EHT: A Planetary Effort to Photograph a Black Hole” at the 2019 SXSW festival that took place on March 8–17, 2019 in Austin, Texas, USA. Speakers.

1) Sheperd Doeleman, EHT Project Director, Senior Astronomer, Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian

2) Dimitrios Psaltis, Professor of Astronomy and Physics, University of Arizona

3) Sera Markoff, Professor of Theoretical Astrophysics and Astroparticle Physics, University of Amsterdam

4) Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University

Find a collection of Twitter posts related to the EHT panel at SXSW under #blackholesatSXSW

4 things we’ll learn from the first closeup image of a black hole

Event Horizon Telescope data are giving scientists an image of the Milky Way’s behemoth

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.

Read more…

Leaders Driving Change at SXSW part 2 “Photographing a Black Hole” Podcast with Dimitrios Psaltis

By Tyler Kern
March 14, 2019


Black holes do not let light escape, according to University of Arizona professor Dimitrios Psaltis, so how does a camera get a photo of one? This is the challenge for Psaltis and the team at Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a project designed to create an Earth-sized telescope network that can capture images of black holes.

“Most of the time what we do in science, is as you said, is taking a tiny little step that is completely inconsequential,” Psaltis said. “And yet, once every generation, once every two generations we are lucky enough to be in front of something major like taking a picture of a black hole. To me at least, that is not something that happens all the time.”

Psaltis spoke over the weekend about the progress EHT has made since it launched in 2017 and how this endeavor will give people a better understanding of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Images and findings from the project are expected to be revealed later this year.