First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. the Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, Kazunori Akiyama, Antxon Alberdi, Walter Alef, Keiichi Asada, Rebecca Azulay, Anne Kathrin Baczko, David Ball, Mislav Baloković, John Barrett, Dan Bintley, Lindy Blackburn, Wilfred Boland, Katherine L. Bouman, Geoffrey C. Bower, Michael Bremer, Christiaan D. Brinkerink, Roger Brissenden, Silke Britzen, Avery E. BroderickDominique Broguiere, Thomas Bronzwaer, Do Young Byun, John E. Carlstrom, Andrew Chael, Chi Kwan Chan, Shami Chatterjee, Koushik Chatterjee, Ming Tang Chen, Yongjun Chen, Ilje Cho, Pierre Christian, John E. Conway, James M. Cordes, Geoffrey B. Crew, Yuzhu Cui, Jordy Davelaar, Mariafelicia De Laurentis, Roger Deane, Jessica Dempsey, Gregory Desvignes, Jason Dexter, Sheperd S. Doeleman, Ralph P. Eatough, Heino Falcke, Vincent L. Fish, Ed Fomalont, Raquel Fraga-Encinas, William T. Freeman, Per Friberg, Christian M. Fromm, José L. Gómez, Peter Galison, Charles F. Gammie, Roberto Garcia, Olivier Gentaz, Boris Georgiev, Ciriaco Goddi, Roman Gold, Minfeng Gu, Mark Gurwell, Kazuhiro Hada, Michael H. Hecht, Ronald Hesper, Luis C. Ho, Paul Ho, Mareki Honma, Chih Wei L. Huang, Lei Huang, David H. Hughes, Shiro Ikeda, Makoto Inoue, Sara Issaoun, David J. James, Buell T. Jannuzi, Michael Janssen, Britton Jeter, Wu Jiang, Michael D. Johnson, Svetlana Jorstad, Taehyun Jung, Mansour Karami, Ramesh Karuppusamy, Tomohisa Kawashima, Garrett K. Keating, Mark Kettenis, Jae Young Kim, Junhan Kim, Jongsoo Kim, Motoki Kino, Jun Yi Koay, Patrick M. Koch, Shoko Koyama, Michael Kramer, Carsten Kramer, Thomas P. Krichbaum, Cheng Yu Kuo, Tod R. Lauer, Sang Sung Lee, Yan Rong Li, Zhiyuan Li, Michael Lindqvist, Kuo Liu, Elisabetta Liuzzo, Wen Ping Lo, Andrei P. Lobanov, Laurent Loinard, Colin Lonsdale, Ru Sen Lu, Nicholas R. Macdonald, Jirong Mao, Sera Markoff, Daniel P. Marrone, Alan P. Marscher, Iván Marti-Vidal, Satoki Matsushita, Lynn D. Matthews, Lia Medeiros, Karl M. Menten, Yosuke Mizuno, Izumi Mizuno, James M. Moran, Kotaro Moriyama, Monika Moscibrodzka, Cornelia Müller, Hiroshi Nagai, Neil M. Nagar, Masanori Nakamura, Ramesh Narayan, Gopal Narayanan, Iniyan Natarajan, Roberto Neri, Chunchong Ni, Aristeidis Noutsos, Hiroki Okino, Héctor Olivares, Gisela N. Ortiz-León, Tomoaki Oyama, Feryal Ozel, Daniel C.M. Palumbo, Nimesh Patel, Ue Li Pen, Dominic W. Pesce, Vincent Piétu, Richard Plambeck, Aleksandar Popstefanija, Oliver Porth, Ben Prather, Jorge A. Preciado-López, Dimitrios Psaltis, Hung Yi Pu, Venkatessh Ramakrishnan, Ramprasad Rao, Mark G. Rawlings, Alexander W. Raymond, Luciano Rezzolla, Bart Ripperda, Freek Roelofs, Alan Rogers, Eduardo Ros, Mel Rose, Arash Roshanineshat, Helge Rottmann, Alan L. Roy, Chet Ruszczyk, Benjamin R. Ryan, Kazi L.J. Rygl, Salvador Sánchez, David Sánchez-Arguelles, Mahito Sasada, Tuomas Savolainen, F. Peter Schloerb, Karl Friedrich Schuster, Lijing Shao, Zhiqiang Shen, Des Small, Bong Won Sohn, Jason Soohoo, Fumie Tazaki, Paul Tiede, Remo P.J. Tilanus, Michael Titus, Kenji Toma, Pablo Torne, Tyler Trent, Sascha Trippe, Shuichiro Tsuda, Ilse Van Bemmel, Huib Jan Van Langevelde, Daniel R. Van Rossum, Jan Wagner, John Wardle, Jonathan Weintroub, Norbert Wex, Robert Wharton, Maciek Wielgus, George N. Wong, Qingwen Wu, Ken Young, André Young, Ziri Younsi, Feng Yuan, Ye Fei Yuan, J. Anton Zensus, Guangyao Zhao, Shan Shan Zhao, Ziyan Zhu, Juan Carlos Algaba, Alexander Allardi, Rodrigo Amestica, Jadyn Anczarski, Uwe Bach, Frederick K. Baganoff, Christopher Beaudoin, Bradford A. Benson, Ryan Berthold, Jay M. Blanchard, Ray Blundell, Sandra Bustamente, Roger Cappallo, Edgar Castillo-Dominguez, Chih Cheng Chang, Shu Hao Chang, Song Chu Chang, Chung Chen Chen, Ryan Chilson, Tim C. Chuter, Rodrigo Córdova Rosado, Iain M. Coulson, Thomas M. Crawford, Joseph Crowley, John David, Mark Derome, Matthew Dexter, Sven Dornbusch, Kevin A. Dudevoir, Sergio A. Dzib, Andreas Eckart, Chris Eckert, Neal R. Erickson, Wendeline B. Everett, Aaron Faber, Joseph R. Farah, Vernon Fath, Thomas W. Folkers, David C. Forbes, Robert Freund, Arturo I. Gómez-Ruiz, David M. Gale, Feng Gao, Gertie Geertsema, David A. Graham, Christopher H. Greer, Ronald Grosslein, Frédéric Gueth, Daryl Haggard, Nils W. Halverson, Chih Chiang Han, Kuo Chang Han, Jinchi Hao, Yutaka Hasegawa, Jason W. Henning, Antonio Hernández-Gómez, Rubén Herrero-Illana, Stefan Heyminck, Akihiko Hirota, James Hoge, Yau De Huang, C. M.Violette Impellizzeri, Homin Jiang, Atish Kamble, Ryan Keisler, Kimihiro Kimura, Yusuke Kono, Derek Kubo, John Kuroda, Richard Lacasse, Robert A. Laing, Erik M. Leitch, Chao Te Li, Lupin C.C. Lin, Ching Tang Liu, Kuan Yu Liu, Li Ming Lu, Ralph G. Marson, Pierre L. Martin-Cocher, Kyle D. Massingill, Callie Matulonis, Martin P. McColl, Stephen R. McWhirter, Hugo Messias, Zheng Meyer-Zhao, Daniel Michalik, Alfredo Montana, William Montgomerie, Matias Mora-Klein, Dirk Muders, Andrew Nadolski, Santiago Navarro, Joseph Neilsen, Chi H. Nguyen, Hiroaki Nishioka, Timothy Norton, Michael A. Nowak, George Nystrom, Hideo Ogawa, Peter Oshiro, Harriet Parsons, Scott N. Paine, Juan Penalver, Neil M. Phillips, Michael Poirier, Nicolas Pradel, Rurik A. Primiani, Philippe A. Raffin, Alexandra S. Rahlin, George Reiland, Christopher Risacher, Ignacio Ruiz, Alejandro F. Sáez-Madain, Remi Sassella, Pim Schellart, Paul Shaw, Kevin M. Silva, Hotaka Shiokawa, David R. Smith, William Snow, Kamal Souccar, Don Sousa, T. K. Sridharan, Ranjani Srinivasan, William Stahm, Anthony A. Stark, Kyle Story, Sjoerd T. Timmer, Laura Vertatschitsch, Craig Walther, Ta Shun Wei, Nathan Whitehorn, Alan R. Whitney, David P. Woody, Jan G.A. Wouterloot, Melvin Wright, Paul Yamaguchi, Chen Yu Yu, Milagros Zeballos, Shuo Zhang, Lucy Ziurys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

567 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When surrounded by a transparent emission region, black holes are expected to reveal a dark shadow caused by gravitational light bending and photon capture at the event horizon. To image and study this phenomenon, we have assembled the Event Horizon Telescope, a global very long baseline interferometry array observing at a wavelength of 1.3 mm. This allows us to reconstruct event-horizon-scale images of the supermassive black hole candidate in the center of the giant elliptical galaxy M87. We have resolved the central compact radio source as an asymmetric bright emission ring with a diameter of 42 ±3 μas, which is circular and encompasses a central depression in brightness with a flux ratio ≈10:1. The emission ring is recovered using different calibration and imaging schemes, with its diameter and width remaining stable over four different observations carried out in different days. Overall, the observed image is consistent with expectations for the shadow of a Kerr black hole as predicted by general relativity. The asymmetry in brightness in the ring can be explained in terms of relativistic beaming of the emission from a plasma rotating close to the speed of light around a black hole. We compare our images to an extensive library of ray-traced general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of black holes and derive a central mass of M =(6.5 ±0.7) ×10 9 M o . Our radio-wave observations thus provide powerful evidence for the presence of supermassive black holes in centers of galaxies and as the central engines of active galactic nuclei. They also present a new tool to explore gravity in its most extreme limit and on a mass scale that was so far not accessible.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL1
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume875
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr 10

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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