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Here’s the first image of a Black Hole – Scientists want to better this image by building a telescope in Namibia

Here’s the first image of a Black Hole – Scientists want to better this image by building a telescope in Namibia

For the first time, astronomers have managed to take a photo of a supermassive black hole and its shadow which shows the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster.

This black hole is 55 million light-years from earth and is 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun. Scientists used the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a worldwide network of eight radio telescopes that together form a virtual telescope the size of the earth.

The news was presented in six press conferences around the world simultaneously. The next step shall be building the Africa Millimetre Telescope in Namibia. The Africa Millimetre Telescope (AMT) project is co-led by two teams at the Radboud University Nijmegen (RU, Radboud Radio Lab, Dept. of Astrophysics) and the University of Namibia (UNAM, Dept. of Physics) and aims at realising a 15-m single-dish radio telescope on the Gamsberg mountain in Namibia.

The AMT will be the only radio telescope in the mm-wavelength regime in Africa, and as such provides unique science opportunities for Namibia. The AMT project is envisioned as a highly visible and unique enabler of science, education & outreach, capacity enriching, sustainable energy and social-economic development in Namibia.

Caption: The €14 million BlackHoleCam project which aims at capturing the image, measuring and understanding black holes has been running for six years, carried out by three lead scientists and their teams; namely Professors Heino Falcke from Radboud University Nijmegen (also Chair of EHT Science Council), Michael Kramer from the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy, and Luciano Rezzolla from Goethe University Frankfurt. (Photograph: Event Horizon Telescope).


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