Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration Reveals

First Image of the Black Hole at the Heart of Our Galaxy

The EHT collaboration has unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The result provides overwhelming evidence that the object at the heart of our galaxy is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the center of most galaxies.

The image, described in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters, is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very center of the Milky Way. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact and very massive in our galaxy’s core. This strongly suggested that the object — known as Sagittarius A*, or Sgr A* — was a black hole; today’s image provides the first direct visual evidence of it.

The EHT continues to make progress on imaging black holes. A major observation campaign in March 2022 included more telescopes than ever before. The ongoing expansion of the EHT network and significant technological upgrades will allow scientists to share even more impressive images as well as movies of black holes in the near future.

Publications

A selected list of publications associated with this historic event is accessible at:

https://iopscience.iop.org/journal/2041-8205/page/Focus_on_First_Sgr_A_Results

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2022 Image of Sgr A* obtained by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration

Next Steps for the ngEHT: Toward the Boundary of the Unknown

Building on the successes of the original Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), the transformative ngEHT will use state-of-the-art technology to modernize existing instrumentation and develop new capabilities while expanding the geographical footprint of the array to roughly twice as many dishes. Through cutting-edge advances in imaging algorithms and the addition of new observing frequencies, the ngEHT's planet-sized virtual telescope will enable revolutionary science.

The ngEHT will capture real-time black hole movies and produce the sharpest-ever images of black holes. It will test Einstein’s general theory of relativity at the event horizon, in the most dangerous relativistic laboratory in the universe. It will uncover the nature of the magnetic field, the unseen force that shapes the surroundings of black holes. It will discover the origin of black hole jets, the immense beams of particles that defy a black hole’s gravity. And it will open new windows into the study of black holes, galaxies, and even the universe itself.

We hope you're as excited for the future of ngEHT science as we are.