The 347 scientists who collaborated to produce the first image of a black hole last April were awarded a $3 million prize on Thursday that presents itself as the “Oscars of Science”.
The international Event Horizon Telescope team, led by American Shep Doeleman, made headlines across the world on April 10 by publishing the image of the M87 black hole.
The image was produced by simultaneous observations in April 2017 of eight radio telescopes distributed over the Earth and pointing at M87.
Astronomers had thus transformed our globe into a kind of giant telescope, to obtain an unprecedented resolution.
It is this unprecedented resolution of astronomical observation that has made it possible to see the silhouette of the black hole in detail, for the first time in history, and to confirm theoretical predictions about the structure of these celestial objects.
The Breakthrough Prize was launched by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to reward breakthroughs in basic research and is now in its eighth year.