In April of 2019, the international astronomical consortium known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) made headlines worldwide when it announced the first-ever image of a black hole. Specifically, the image showed the glowing disk surrounding the supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of the M87 galaxy. In 2021, they followed up on this by acquiring an image of the core region of the Centaurus A galaxy and the radio jet emanating from it.
But in what is sure to be the most exciting announcement yet, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and researchers from the EHT will announce the results of their survey that examined the SMBH at the center of our very own Milky Way Galaxy – Sagittarius A*! The results will be shared as part of a press conference on Thursday, May 12th, starting at 03:00 PM CEST (08:00 EDT; 05:00 PDT). The event will take place at the ESO Headquarters in Munich, Germany, and live-streamed via an ESO webcast.
The press conference will include the ESO Director General Xavier Barcons opening things up, followed by EHT Project Director Huib Jan van Langevelde and EHT Collaboration Board Founding Chair Anton Zensus delivering remarks. A panel of researchers with the Event Horizon Telescope Consortium (EHTC) working group will then explain the results and answer questions from media outlets (on-location and online). This panel will consist of:
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- Thomas Krichbaum, a researcher with the VLBI Group at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Germany.
- Sara Issaoun, an astronomer and NASA Einstein Fellow with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and Radboud University, the Netherlands
- José L. Gómez, a research with the VLBI Group at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC), Spain
- Christian Fromm, the Chair of Astronomy at University of Würzburg, Germany
- Mariafelicia de Laurentis, a professor with the University of Naples “Federico II” and the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Italy
An ESO press release about the results and extensive supporting audiovisual material will be issued at 03:07 PM CEST (08:07 AM EDT; 05:07 AM PDT) shortly after the start of the press conference (translation services will be available). There will also be simultaneous press conferences worldwide, including in Washington D.C., Santiago de Chile, Mexico City, Tokyo, and Taipei (which you can learn more about here).
An online event for the public will follow the press conference at 04:30 PM CEST (10:30 AM EDT; 07:30 AM PDT), which will last for approximately one hour and be live-streamed on the ESO’s Youtube channel. This will consist of a Q&A session, where members of the public will have the opportunity to address another panel of EHT experts that will be composed of:
- Sera Markoff, a Professor at the University of Amsterdam’s Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, the Netherlands
- Michael Janssen, a visiting scholar with the MPIfR
- Rocco Lico, a researcher with th IAA-CSIS, a member of the VLBI Group at MPIfR, and the recipient of the 2021 Event Horizon Telescope Early Career Award
- Roman Gold, an assistant professor at the University of Southern Denmark
- Violette Impellizzeri, a professor and Paul Harris Fellow at the University of Leiden (the Netherlands) and winner of the prestigious 2020 Breakthrough Prize
- Ziri Younsi, a UKRI Stephen Hawking Fellow at the University College London, UK
Further Reading: ESO