The Event Horizon Telescope: Imaging and Time-Resolving a Black Hole

Monday, April 4, 2016 - 4:15pm
MIT/Haystack Observatory
Public Lecture: 

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT): a short-wavelength Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) array that can observe the nearest supermassive black holes with Schwarzschild Radius resolution.  Initial observations with the EHT have revealed event horizon scale structure in SgrA*, the 4 million solar mass black hole at the Galactic Center, and in the much more luminous and massive black hole at the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87.  Over the next 2 years, this international project will add new sites and increase observing bandwidth to focus on astrophysics at the black hole boundary.  The EHT will have an unprecedented combination of sensitivity and resolution with excellent prospects for imaging strong GR signatures near the horizon, detecting magnetic field structures through full polarization observations, time-resolving black hole orbits, testing GR, and modeling black hole accretion, outflow and jet production.  This talk will describe the project and the latest EHT observations.