SHANGHAI, April 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese astronomers have made contributions to a global effort to capture the first-ever image of a supermassive black hole at the heart of the distant galaxy M87.
The image of the black hole, based on observations through the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration, was unveiled in coordinated press conferences across the globe at around 9:00 p.m. (Beijing time) on Wednesday.
This exciting result was also supported by the Center for Astronomical MegaScience (CAMS) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), co-established by National Astronomical Observatories, Purple Mountain Observatory and Shanghai Astronomical Observatory.
Chinese scientists participated in the observations in Spain and Hawaii and made contributions to the data analysis and theoretical explanation of the black hole.
Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (SAO) took the lead in organizing and coordinating Chinese researchers to participate in the observations and studies.
"This is the first direct visual evidence about black holes obtained by humans, confirming that Einstein's theory of general relativity still holds in extreme conditions," said Shen Zhiqiang, head of SAO.
"The successful imaging of the black hole in the center of M87 is just the beginning of the EHT collaboration," said Shen.
"More exciting results are expected from the EHT project in the near future," Shen said.