Event Horizon Telescope: Imaging a Black Hole Through Global Collaboration (Video Available)

Speaker: Shep Doeleman, PhD, at Center for Astrophysics

Date: November 9, 2020 at 4:00PM - 5:30PM

What can medicine learn about collaboration and data sharing from one of the most successful team science projects of all time--creating a telescope the diameter of the earth to snap an image of a black hole? Black holes are cosmic objects so massive and dense that their gravity forms an event horizon: a region of spacetime from which nothing, not even light, can escape. Einstein's theories predict that a distant observer should see a ring of light encircling the black hole, which forms when radiation emitted by infalling hot gas is lensed by the extreme gravity. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is a global array of radio dishes that forms an Earth-sized virtual telescope, which can resolve the nearest supermassive black holes where this ring feature may be measured. On April 10th, 2019, the EHT project reported success: we have imaged a black hole and have seen the predicted strong gravitational lensing that confirms the theory of General Relativity at the boundary of a black hole.  This talk will describe the project, and the global collaborative approach that produced these first results, as well as future directions that will enable real-time black hole movies.

Shep Doeleman, PhD is an Astrophysicist at the Center for Astrophysics and the Founding Director of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project, a synchronized global array of radio observatories designed to examine the nature of black holes. Dr. Doeleman led the international team of researchers that produced the first directly observed image of a black hole. Dr. Doeleman was awarded the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics as the Founding Director of the EHT Collaboration for the first image of a supermassive black hole. Dr. Doeleman was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2019 by Time magazine.

 


Publications

Diossy M, Sztupinszki Z, Borcsok J, Krzystanek M, Tisza V, Spisak S, Rusz O, Timar J, Csabai I, Fillinger J, Moldvay J, Pedersen AG, Szuts D, Szallasi Z. A subset of lung cancer cases shows robust signs of homologous recombination deficiency associated genomic mutational signatures. NPJ precision oncology 2021.

Abman SH, Mullen MP, Sleeper LA, Austin ED, Rosenzweig EB, Kinsella JP, Ivy D, Hopper RK, Usha Raj J, Fineman J, Keller RL, Bates A, Krishnan US, Avitabile CM, Davidson A, Natter MD, Mandl KD, . Characterisation of Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertensive Vascular Disease from the PPHNet Registry. The European respiratory journal 2021.

Lu FS, Nguyen AT, Link NB, Molina M, Davis JT, Chinazzi M, Xiong X, Vespignani A, Lipsitch M, Santillana M. Estimating the cumulative incidence of COVID-19 in the United States using influenza surveillance, virologic testing, and mortality data: Four complementary approaches. PLoS computational biology 2021.

Aiken EL, Nguyen AT, Viboud C, Santillana M. Toward the use of neural networks for influenza prediction at multiple spatial resolutions. Science advances 2021.