Embark on an incredible journey through space and time in this captivating video. We will zoom into the heart of Messier 87, a colossal elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. Here, you will witness a profound achievement in the annals of astronomy - the first ever image of a black hole, an entity so massive and dense that not even light can escape its gravitational pull. This video provides an in-depth look at how an international team of experts came together to capture this elusive image, a feat that has reshaped our understanding of the universe.
Here’s your chance to zoom into the Messier 87 Galaxy and see how scientists observed and photographed the first direct image of a black hole. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. In coordinated press conferences globally, EHT researchers revealed they succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.
Zooming into Messier 87 and its Black Hole
This zoom video starts with a view of ALMA and zooms in on the heart of M87, showing successively more detailed observations and culminating in the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole’s shadow. The ALMA observatory (Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array) has published a stunning video that focuses on the heart of the M87 galaxy, culminating in the first real image of a black hole, presented in an extensive, worldwide press conference on April 10, 2019.
Successive, detailed observations of the galaxy
The video published on Vimeo shows successive, detailed observations of the galaxy, located around 55 million light-years from Earth. As you peer into the galaxy’s heart, you encounter the first direct evidence of a massive black hole, 6.5 billion times the mass of our Sun, measuring 40 billion kilometers across–or nearly three million times the size of our planet. The first image of a black hole shows an intense bright ring of fire surrounding what seems to be a spherical dark hole. The bright halo surrounding the black hole is created by superheated gas falling into the hole.
The light we see in the image appears brighter than all the billions of other solar systems in the galaxy combined, which is one of the main reasons why astronomers were able to photograph it at such a long distance from Earth. “Many of the characteristics of the observed image coincide with our theoretical understanding surprisingly well,” scientists have admitted.