Taiwanese scientists part of global team that produced first-ever image of black hole (2019/04/11)

  • 2019-04-11
  • Yinung Chen

Taiwanese researchers have joined a global team in making one of the most significant astronomical breakthroughs in recent history. They've captured the first-ever image of a black hole. The image shows a black circle surrounded by a crescent of intense orange light. It was found deep in a distant galaxy using a giant telescope made by linking eight radio observatories around the world. 

For the first time ever, man has been able to capture an image of a black hole.

The image shows a dark hole surrounded by a bright orange glow. Academia Sinica and five other institutions released the image at simultaneous press conferences held around the world.

James Liao
Academia Sinica president
It’s the first in human history. An image of a supermassive black hole. This is an unprecedented feat for astronomy and physics, because man has never before seen an image of a black hole.

To capture the image, scientists from Taiwan, Chile, Belgium, Denmark, Japan and China teamed up in the Event Horizon Telescope project, which brought the power of eight radio telescope observatories together to make a giant telescope. Since the gravity within black holes prevents light from escaping, the project focused on looking for black hole silhouettes.

Wang Shiang-yu
ASIAA Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics
With regard to observatory antennas, Taiwan was tasked with three telescopes. Our colleagues also took part in observation and data analysis that achieved the image.

After eight years, the project has finally uncovered the secret face of a black hole.
This first image is that of a black hole 5,500 light-years away in the M87 galaxy. Its mass is 6.5 billion times that of the Sun.