M87's black hole

M87’s black hole
Image: EHT

The Breakthrough Prize Foundation has awarded $21.6 million to winners of its 2020 Breakthrough Prizes, including a $3 million prize to 347 members of the black hole-imaging Event Horizon Telescope team.

The Breakthrough Prize was funded by Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner and annually awards researchers in the life sciences, mathematics, and fundamental physics. It is considered the highest-paying science prize.

“To get an award like this signifies that the image is a touchstone for many,” Shep Doeleman, Harvard astronomer, told Gizmodo. “We’re looking forward to doing some more science with it, and reaching out to scientists in many fields.”

On April 10, 2019, scientists around the world announced that they’d linked eight radio telescope facilities on Earth to produce an image of a black hole. Specifically, the picture showed a black hole 55 million light-years away, with a mass 6.5 billion times that of the Sun, at the center of galaxy M87. Black holes are objects so massive that the way their gravity warps spacetime prevents light from escaping beyond a region called the event horizon.

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration relied on a method called very long baseline interferometry, or VLB

Read More