First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. I. The Shadow of the Supermassive Black Hole
Jannuzi, Buell T.
Marrone, Daniel P.
Folkers, Thomas W.
Forbes, David C.
Greer, Christopher H.
Massingill, Kyle D.
McColl, Martin P.
Nguyen, Chi H.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
Univ Arizona, Dept Astron
Keywordsaccretion, accretion disks
black hole physics
galaxies: individual (M87)
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationThe Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration et al 2019 ApJL 875 L1
JournalASTROPHYSICAL JOURNAL LETTERS
Rights© 2019. The American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
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AbstractWhen 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 mu as, which is circular and encompasses a central depression in brightness with a flux ratio greater than or similar to 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) x 10(9) M-circle dot. 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.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsAcademy of Finland [274477, 284495, 312496]; European Commission Framework Programme Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation action ; Black Hole Initiative at Harvard University through the John Templeton Foundation ; Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CONICYT, Chile) [PIA ACT172033, Fondecyt 1171506, BASAL AFB-170002, ALMA-conicyt 31140007]; Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT, Mexico) [104497, 275201, 279006, 281692]; Direccion General de Asuntos del Personal Academico-Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (DGAPA-UNAM) [IN112417]; European Research Council (ERC) Synergy Grant "Black-HoleCam: Imaging the Event Horizon of Black Holes" ; Generalitat Valenciana [APOSTD/2018/177]; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation [GBMF-3561, GBMF-5278, GBMF 947]; Jansky Fellowship program of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO); Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho: MEXT) Scholarship; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) [JP17J08829]; JSPS; Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) [QYZDJ-SSW-SLH057, QYZDJ-SSW-SYS008]; Leverhulme Trust; MEXT/JSPS KAKENHI [18KK0090, JP18K13594, JP18K03656, JP18H03721, 18K03709, 18H01245, 25120007]; MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI) Funds; Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of Taiwan [105-2112-M-001-025-MY3, 106-2112-M-001-011, 106-2119-M-001-027, 107-2119-M-001-017, 107-2119-M-001-020, 107-2119-M-110-005]; National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA, Fermi Guest Investigator grant) [80NSSC17K0649]; National Key Research and Development Program of China [2016YFA0400704, 2016YFA0400702]; National Science Foundation (NSF) [AST-0096454, AST-0352953, AST-0521233, AST-0705062, AST-0905844, AST-0922984, AST-1126433, AST-1140030, DGE-1144085, AST-1207704, AST-1207730, AST-1207752, MRI-1228509]; Natural Science Foundation of China [11573051, 11633006, 11650110427, 10625314, 11721303, 11725312, 11873028, 11873073, U1531245, 11473010]; Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC); National Research Foundation of Korea [2015-R1D1A1A01056807]; National Research Foundation of Korea (Global PhD Fellowship) [NRF-2015H1A2A1033752]; National Research Foundation of Korea (Korea Research Fellowship Program) [NRF-2015H1D3A1066561]; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) VICI award [639.043.513]; Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) Spinoza Prize [SPI 78-409]; South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO); Swedish Research Council [2017-00648]; Government of Canada through the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade; Russian Science Foundation [17-12-01029]; Spanish Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad [AYA2015-63939-C2-1-P, AYA2016-80889-P]; State Agency for Research of the Spanish MCIU through the "Center of Excellence Severo Ochoa" award [SEV-2017-0709]; National Nuclear Security Administration of the USDOE [89233218CNA000001]; Italian Ministero dell'Istruzione Universita e Ricerca through the grant Progetti Premiali 2012-iALMA [CUP C52I13000140001]; European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [730562 RadioNet]; ALMA North America Development Fund; NSF [ACI-1548562, DBI-0735191, DBI-1265383, DBI-1743442]; Compute Ontario; Calcul Quebec; Compute Canada; Smithsonian Institution; Academia Sinica; National Key R&D Program of China [2017YFA0402700]; Science and Technologies Facility Council (UK); CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, France); MPG (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Germany); IGN (Instituto Geografico Nacional, Spain); State of Arizona; NSF Physics Frontier Center award [PHY-0114422]; Kavli Foundation; GBMF [GBMF-947]; National Science Foundation [PLR-1248097]; NSF Physics Frontier Center grant [PHY-1125897]; [TM6-17006X]; [OPP-1248097]; [AST-1310896]; [AST-1312651]; [AST-1337663]; [AST-1440254]; [AST-1555365]; [AST-1715061]; [AST-1615796]; [AST-1614868]; [AST-1716327]; [OISE-1743747]; [AST-1816420]