In DepthAstronomy

Global telescope gears up to image black holes

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  03 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6328, pp. 893-894
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6328.893

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Summary

Last year researchers "heard" black holes for the first time, when they detected the gravitational waves unleashed as two of them crashed together and merged. Now, they want to see a black hole, or at least its silhouette. Next month, astronomers will harness radio telescopes across the globe to create the equivalent of a single Earth-spanning dish—an instrument powerful enough, they hope, to image black holes backlit by the incandescent gas swirling around them. Their targets are the supermassive black hole at the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, known as Sagittarius A*, and an even bigger one in the neighboring galaxy M87.