The famous black hole in M 87, one year later

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The black hole in M87, images taken in 2017 and 2018
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, reveal a familiar, bright ring of emission of the same size as seen in 2017. Credit: EHT Collaboration

The Event Horizon Telescope collaboration has released new images of the supermassive black hole M87*, from observations made in April 2018, a year after the observations that led to the first ever image of a black hole. To have repeated the 2017 results, with completely new data and with this new discovery, is a major success for the global telescope collaboration.

The new measurements from 2018 show the same ring of light around the black hole's "shadow", which is the same size as the year before, but with the difference that the brightest part of the ring has shifted by about 30 degrees.

The 2018 observations made involved for the first time the new Greenland Telescope, and greatly improved data handling. They provide a completely new view of the black hole and its surroundings, independent of the 2017 observations.

A new science paper published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics presents the images from the 2018 measurements, showing a ring the same size as the one observed in 2017. Inside the bright ring is the black hole's shadow, as predicted by general relativity. But the image shows an intriguing difference: the brightest part of the ring has shifted by about 30 degrees compared to the images from 2017. According to the researchers, this fits well with their theories about how the turbulent material surrounding the black hole behaves. Now, scientists can use the movement of the ring’s brightest part around the black hole's shadow to test theories about the magnetic field and the environment around the black hole.

Press release from the Event Horizon Telescope:


Robert Cumming, astronomer and communicator, Onsala Space Observatory,, +46 704933114

Three Chalmers astronomers are part of the international EHT collaboration.

Anne-Kathrin Baczko, postdoc, Onsala Space Observatory,, +46 31-772 13 47

Michael Lindqvist, Senior Research Engineer, Onsala Space Observatory.

John Conway, Professor and Director, Onsala Space Observatory,

Anne-Kathrin Baczko
  • Postdoc, Astronomy and Plasma Physics, Space, Earth and Environment
Robert Cumming
  • Communications Officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Space, Earth and Environment