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Virtual Telescope Readies to Image Black Hole's 'Ring of Fire'

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) now spans the diameter of our planet and, when the vast project goes online, astronomers will get their first glimpse of the bright ring surrounding a supermassive black hole.

Published On 04/23/2015
1:52 PM EDT
Simulations of how a black hole may look using the EHT. Left: Simulation of a black hole's event horizon. Center: How that ring may look with a 7-telescope EHT array. Right: How the ring would look with a 13-telescope array. The resolution of the EHT improves with increased number of telescopes. From the paper: | Vincent L. Fish, Sheperd S. Doeleman (MIT Haystack Observatory)
The South Pole Telescope and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment joined together in a "Very Long Baseline Interferometry" experiment for the first time in January. The two telescopes simultaneously observed two sources - the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, Sagittarius A*, and the black hole at the center of the distant galaxy Centaurus A - and combined their signals to synthesize a telescope 5,000 miles across. | Dan Marrone/UA