The world already knows what a black hole is like, thanks to the first image of black hole shown by the international Horizon of Events Telescope (EHT) consortium. A project in which participates, among others, the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia and eight Spanish scientists. The announcement has been made simultaneously in six cities around the world.

Although the black hole, by definition, can not be seen, the gas and matter falling towards it is heated to millions of degrees and shines. In front of that background illumination there is a dark silhouette that is the shadow of the black hole. Like a space sink from which nothing can come out, not even the light that travels the fastest in space.

First image of black hole

First image of black hole 2019

It is a supermassive black hole equivalent to 6,500 million suns and is located in M87 , a galaxy 55 million light years from Earth. The Horizon Horizon Event Telescope consortium was created precisely to investigate this type of phenomena, synchronizing data from eight radio telescopes, including the Sierra Nevada IRAM.

It is not a photograph as such, they are actually radio signals but they confirm something that Einstein discovered with mathematical formulas a hundred years ago. And above all, they allow us to continue advancing in the knowledge of the Universe.

FROM SIERRA NEVADA

Eight Spanish scientists have been part of the international project that unveiled on Wednesday the first real image of a black hole.

This is José Luis Gómez, researcher at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC); Antxon Alberdi, director of the IAA-CSIC; Iván Martí-Vidal, from the National Geographic Institute (IGN); Miguel Sánchez-Portal, director of the Millimeter Radioastronomy Institute (IRAM); and the engineers Salvador Sánchez and Ignacio Ruiz, and the researchers from the University of Valencia, Pablo Torné and Rebecca Azulay.

The Spanish contribution has been based on the design of several algorithms, on the organization and configuration of the technical equipment, as well as on the realization of the observations from the Spanish radio telescope IRAM of 30 meters, located in Sierra Nevada, Granada.

A BRIGHT RING

The EHT project (Event Horizon Telescope) has obtained the first image of a black hole, a colossal one in the center of the distant Mesier 87 galaxy, 55 million light years from Earth.

The image shows a bright ring formed when light is curved in intense gravity around a black hole that is 6,500 million times more massive than the Sun, according to the calculations made from the observation.

This long-sought image provides the strongest evidence to date of the existence of supermassive black holes and opens a new window to the study of black holes, their horizons of events and gravity, according to the EHT project.