The Race to See Our Supermassive Black Hole

Using the power of interferometry, two astronomical projects are, for the first time, close to directly observing the black hole in the center of the Milky Way.

Published On 05/26/2016
11:57 PM EDT
The ESO Very Large Telescope located atop Cerro Paranal in Chile during the #MeetESO event on May 9. | Ian O'Neill
One of the four Very Large Telescope domes fires its new four-laser adaptive optics system. GRAVITY will make use of adaptive optics to improve observations of Sagittarius A* by compensating for the effects of atmospheric turbulence. | ESO
The ALMA antenna in a clustered formation on Chajnantor plateau during the #MeetESO event on May 11, 2016. The extreme location of the observatory can produce unpredictable weather and, as depicted here, a blizzard descended on the plateau cutting the visit short. | Ian O'Neill
Computer simulation of what theoretical physiicists expect to see with the EHT -- a round, dark disk surrounded by radio emissions. | Avery E. Broderick/Univ. of Waterloo/Perimeter Institute (screenshot from the Convergence meeting)