Images, video, and educational resources

A user interface containing NSF's image of a black hole
Using the Event Horizon Telescope, a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration, scientists obtained an image of a black hole at the center of galaxy M87*, outlined by emission from hot gas swirling around it under the influence of strong gravity near its event horizon.

Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration et al.

South Pole Telescope in Antarctica
The South Pole Telescope is located in Antarctica, the most extreme location of the eight telescopes in the Event Horizon Telescope Array. It is one of two in the array managed by the University of Arizona.

Credit: Junhan Kim, The University of Arizona

The Submillimeter Telescope (SMT)
The Submillimeter Telescope (SMT), one of eight among the Event Horizon Telescope Array and one of two in the array under the management of the University of Arizona, magnifies the evening sky as the sun sets on Mount Graham near Tucson, Arizona.

Credit: David Harvey

Radio waves from distant celestial objects

Credit: National Science Foundation

Radio waves from distant celestial objects arrive at different points on Earth at different times. For VLBI to work, these waves must be matched wave-for-wave at each and every station. To accomplish this, the EHT uses ultra-precise atomic clocks, which time stamp the data. Later, when the data are combined, astronomers can ensure that each observatory's data align with the data from all the rest.

NSF's National Radio Astronomy Observatory infographic

Credit: National Science Foundation

Black holes are so difficult to detect that no single instrument can even make the attempt. Instead, any effort to image a black hole will require a team of telescopes, all working together, using a technique called interferometry. This graphic from NSF's National Radio Astronomy Observatory explains interferometry and how collaborations like the Event Horizon Telescope use it hunt for black holes.

Event Horizon telescope Imaging of black hole

Credit: Zina Deretsky (illustration); and special thanks to the University of Arizona and MIT/Haystack Observatory

For the Event Horizon Telescope, resolving the image of M87* from petabytes of information was a Big Data challenge. This infographic helps explain how they accomplished that monumental task.

Video assets

Video assets


ANIMATION 907
If you could fly next to the supermassive black hole M87*, this is what you would see.
Credit: National Science Foundation
Brief, self-contained, narrated overview
with a simple explanation of the EHT and the image it captured. Includes a sound bite with the EHT director 907
Credit: National Science Foundation
Video Soundbites: France Cordova
Video Soundbites: France Cordova, NSF Director.
Credit: National Science Foundation
Sheperd Doeleman 907
Sheperd Doeleman, EHT director, talks about the EHT project
Credit: National Science Foundation
Peter Kurczynski 907
Peter Kurczynski, NSF astronomer, talks about the science of EHT.
Credit: National Science Foundation
What do we know about black holes?
Joseph Pesce, NSF astronomer, talks about the science of black holes.
Credit: National Science Foundation
ANIMATION - forming an Earth-size telescope - 10 seconds
Eight telescopes around the world are synchronized with atomic clocks, creating a virtual telescope dish as large as the Earth itself.
Credit: National Science Foundation
ANIMATION - forming an Earth-size telescope - 14 seconds
Eight radio telescopes around the globe, synchronized by atomic clocks, all look at the same black hole at the same time, and that creates a virtual telescope dish as large as the Earth itself.
Credit: National Science Foundation
EHT B-Roll
Contains 8 EHT telescopes and 2 data centers identified on slates.
Credit: National Science Foundation
Montage
Contains 8 EHT telescopes and 2 data centers identified on screen.
Credit: National Science Foundation
First ever image of a black hole, explained
If you could fly next to the supermassive black hole M87*, this is what you would see.
Credit: National Science Foundation
Black Holes: Peering Into the Heart of Darkness
"We can't actually see a black hole because, by definition, no light comes out from it," says University of Florida astronomer Steve Eikenberry. "What we can see, though, is the material around the black hole. As the material spirals into the black hole, it's kind of like water going down the drain in a sink."
Credit: National Science Foundation
Black Hole Researchers Katie Bouman and Colin Lonsdale Answer Your Questions
On April 10, a team of international scientists from Event Horizon Telescope project unveiled the first ever image of a black hole at the center of the M87* galaxy. We invited computer scientist Dr. Katie Bouman and astronomer Dr. Colin Lonsdale from the EHT project to answer questions from our social media followers.
Credit: National Science Foundation
Star gives birth to possible black hole in Hubble and Spitzer images
A team of astronomers at The Ohio State University watched a star disappear and possibly become a black hole. Instead of becoming a black hole through the expected process of a supernova, the black hole candidate formed through a "failed supernova." The team used NASA's Hubble and Spitzer Space telescopes and the Large Binocular Telescope to observe and monitor the star throughout the past decade. If confirmed, this would be the first time anyone has witnessed the birth of a black hole and the first discovery of a failed supernova.
Credit: NASA

Virtual backgrounds

Virtual backgrounds


black hole virtual background
Virtual background of the astronomers first image of a black hole.

Credit: Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al.

Event Horizon black hole coloring page

virtual background for eht with telescopes and starry background
Event Horizon Telescope - Our own black hole

Credit: C. Padilla, NRAO/AUI/National Science Foundation

virtual background eht Sgr A* Black Hole
Sgr A* Black Hole

Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration

Gemini North Telescope
In this time-lapse image, a laser guide star paints the sky above the Gemini North Telescope, a program of NSF’s NOIRLab.

Credit: Image by Joy Pollard/International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

Colliding black holes
A pair of black holes collide in this illustration depicting one of the most powerful collisions astronomers have ever detected.

Credit: Mark Myers, ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery (OzGrav)/Swinburne University

VLA Telescopes
NSF’s Very Large Array radio telescope is located near Socorro, New Mexico. Deployed in their widest configuration, the array would just barely fit within Washington D.C.’s Capital Beltway.

Credit: Andrew Clegg, National Science Foundation

Astronomers discover two pairs of quasars in distant universe

Black hole images and videos

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