THE Institute of Millimetre Radio Astronomy (IRAM) in Granada helped to obtain the first image of a black hole.
Over five nights in April 2017, radio telescopes all over the world coordinated a simultaneous observation of the M87 galaxy to obtain images of the massive black hole located in its interior.
These included the 30-metre IRAM radio telescope located at Pico Veleta (Granada), a Spanish-French-German venture with the participation of Spain’s Instituto Geografico Nacional, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and the Max-Planck Gesellschaft.
After two years spent analysing their information, the images showed the distribution of matter on the edge of the black hole where gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light, can ever climb out of it.
These were the first-ever images of this kind and an “extraordinarily visual” demonstration of Einstein’s theory of relativity, astrophysicists explained.
“What you’re looking at is a ring of fire created by the deformation of space-time,” said Heino Falcke from Radboud University in Nijmegen (Netherlands) at the recent press conference.