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Seeing the Unseeable: Capturing an Image of a Black Hole

black holeBlack holes are cosmic objects that are so small and dense, that nothing, not even light can escape their gravitational pull.  Until recently, no one had ever seen what a black hole actually looked like.  The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global array of radio dishes, linked together by a network of atomic clocks, that form an Earth-sized virtual telescope that can resolve the nearest supermassive black holes. The EHT detects light that is emitted from gas that is close to the black hole event horizon, and this light travels unimpeded to telescopes on the Earth. Einstein's theories predict that the EHT should see a ring of light and a dark region within that marks the point where light cannot escape.  On April 10th, 2019, the EHT project reported success: we have imaged a black hole, and have seen the predicted ring of light that confirms General Relativity as the boundary of a black hole.  This talk will cover how this was accomplished, details of the first results, as well as some future directions.

Speaker: Shepard Doeleman, Director, Event Horizon Telescope

Wednesday, 10/02/19


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Hewlett Teaching Center

370 Serra Mall, Room 201
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305

Website: Click to Visit