The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, including Professor Daryl Haggard at McGill University, has released new images of M87*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87, using data from observations taken in April 2018. With the participation of the newly commissioned Greenland Telescope and a dramatically improved recording rate across the array, the 2018 observations give us a view of the source independent from the first observations in 2017. A recent paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics presents new images from the 2018 data that reveal a familiar ring the same size as the one observed in 2017. This bright ring surrounds a deep central depression, “the shadow of the black hole,” as predicted by general relativity. Excitingly, the brightness peak of the ring has shifted by about 30º compared to the images from 2017, which is consistent with our theoretical understanding of variability from turbulent material around black holes.Photo: The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration has released new images of M87* from observations taken in April 2018, one year after the first observations in April 2017. The new observations in 2018, which feature the first participation of the Greenland Telescope, reveal a familiar, bright ring of emission of the same size as we found in 2017. This bright ring surrounds a dark central shadow, and the brightest part of the ring in 2018 has shifted by about 30º relative from 2017 to now lie in the 5 o’clock position. Credit: EHT Collaboration.
About the study
“The persistent shadow of the supermassive black hole of M 87 I. Observations, calibration, imaging, and analysis” by The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, et al. was published in Astronomy & Astrophysics.