The first-ever image of a black hole taken by Event Horizon Telescope, a global scientific collaboration involving EU-funded scientists was revealed by the European Commission in Brussels, simultaneously with the team’s announcement in Washington DC.

The major discovery provides visual evidence of the existence of black holes and pushes the boundaries of modern science. The image of the black hole is the result of the large scale international research collaboration by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), where EU funding was provided through the European Research Council.

The EU Commission reveals the first-ever image of a black hole taken by Event Horizon Telescope

The reasearch team took the images by linking up giant radio dishes from across the world, which has created a virtual telescope that is about the size of Earth, which was needed to create the enormous magnifying power to collect enough electromagnetic and radio waves to produce an image of an area around a distant black hole.

“We have seen what we thought was unseeable,” said Shep Doeleman, director of the international team behind the image. “We have seen and have taken a picture of a black hole.”

“Today is a great day,” Anezina Solomonidou, a researcher and planetary geologist at the European Space Agency told New Europe. She described the discovery as a “great leap for humanity”.

“Today we all saw a black hole in a real picture for the first time ever. This breakthrough achievement is attributed to the Event Horizon Telescope, which, along with a network of eight radio telescopes and more than 200 scientists, captured what was thought to be unseeable and one of the most mysterious objects in the Universe,”.

“The photographed black hole, which as an object is a region of space from which nothing, not even light, can escape, is located in a galaxy named M87. It’s 3 million times the size of Earth and 500 million trillion km away. Never before has such a faraway and super dark object come to brighten our days and knowledge,” added Solomonidou.

The EHT teams will be working on dissecting the entire spectrum of light coming from the M87 black hole all the way from low-energy radio waves to high-energy gamma rays.