An international team of astronomers including scientists from UMass Amherst have succeeded in unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole. The image above reveals the black hole outlined by emission from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon. It is situated at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the Virgo cluster, 55 million light-years from Earth. Eight ground-based radio telescopes from around the world were used to collect the data. They formed the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), of which the University's Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) is a node. Gopal Narayanan, principal investigator for UMass Amherst’s EHT mission, led the team that built two radio astronomy receivers used to collect EHT data at the LMT site. Learn More.
Photo courtesy Event Horizon team