“We have seen what we thought was unseeable,” Sheperd Doeleman, who directs the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) project that captured the image, said 10 April 2019.
The image displays a bright ring with a dark center (the black hole’s center); it is situated at the center of the M87 galaxy, which is 55 million light-years from Earth. It has a mass about 6.5 billion times that of our sun.
The EHT project is named for a black hole’s “boundary beyond which nothing, not even light, can escape the object’s gravitational clutches.”
The EHT is a consortium of more than 200 scientists that has been in the works for about two decades. It’s a truly international endeavor; funding over the years has come from the U.S. National Science Foundation and many other organizations in countries around the world.