The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes, has managed to successfully capture an image of a black hole, scientists announced at news conferences across the globe on Wednesday Beijing time.
A series of six papers about the research, which offered scientists a new way to study black holes, were also published in the US-based Astrophysical Journal Letterson Wednesday.
The image captured is of the black hole at the heart of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun.
EHT links telescopes around the globe to form an earth-sized virtual telescope with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution. It is the result of years of international collaboration, and offers scientists a new way to study the most extreme objects in the universe, according to EHT.
The image also put to test Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity put forward in 1915, which allows for a prediction of the size and shape of a black hole, scientists said.