NBIA Colloquium by Paul Ho

First Direct Image of a Black Hole


The Event Horizon Telescope, a network of eight radio telescopes, operating at millimeter wavelengths, and spanning the surface of the earth, has successfully produced the first picture of a black hole. We achieved the highest angular resolution in astronomy by using Very Long Baseline Interferometry. This Supermassive Black Hole, in the nucleus of the galaxy M87, is the first case where we can resolve the event horizon, where even light itself cannot escape from the gravity of the black hole. This first picture also demonstrates directly Einstein’s General Relativity on the distortion of space in the presence of strong gravity. In addition, we detect the glow of material swirling around the black hole in the form of an accretion disk, where material gathers before falling inside the black hole.

Paul Ho is
one of the leaders of the Event Horizon Telescope. He is Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of Academia Sinica in Taipei.  He is also director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Hawaii and has close connections to NBI as a PI on the Greenland Telescope.  He received his  Ph. D. from MIT in 1977, and was on the faculty at Harvard and the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory for many years before taking up a position in Taipei in 2002. 

All are welcome!  Refreshments will be served in the NBIA lounge after the talk.