Victoria astronomer had inside look as team of scientists collected first-ever black hole image


WATCH: An astronomer at Saanich’s Dominion Astrophysical Observatory was working in Chile as the Event Horizon team gathered images of a black hole. April Lawrence has more.

Surrounded by a ring of fire, the first-ever image of a black hole was unveiled in Washington, D.C. today.

The black hole looks like a glowing eye that’s not unlike the powerful flaming Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It was found in a galaxy called M87, 55 million light years from Earth.

It took an Earth-sized effort to capture the photo — 200 scientists from 20 countries, using eight giant telescopes scattered around the globe collecting millions of gigabytes of data over years.

Even an astronomer from the observatory in Saanich got in on the action.

Gerald Schieven actually got to see the Event Horizon team in action. He was working at the observatory in Chile while the team was there capturing data.

“Every time the weather would get good, the Event Horizon telescope team would say oh, the weather’s good, we’re going to take over the telescope,” Schieven said.

That was two years ago and he’s been anxiously awaiting the result ever since.

“I was expecting that this would come out a year ago so I’ve been sort of okay I want to see it. I want to see it, I want to see it!” he joked.

Now that it’s here, it’s what scientists expected and shows Albert Einstein’s century-old theory of relativity about the force of gravity was right all along.


April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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