BlackHoleCam is a EU-funded project to finally image, measure and understand astrophysical black holes. Our research will test fundamental predictions of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity (GR). The BlackHoleCam team members are active partners of the global Event Horizon Telescope Consortium.
The main goal of BlackHoleCam and the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is to make the first ever images of the billion solar masses black hole in the nearby galaxy M87 and of its smaller cousin, Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the centre of our Galaxy. The image shall reveal the “shadow” of the event horizon – the “one-way” membrane around a black hole that defines the boundary surrounding black holes, through which light can enter, but never leave. Matter pulled into this region emits high-frequency radio waves, which can be picked up by radio telescopes around the world. Together these telescopes form the global “Event Horizon Telescope” network, which provides the highest resolution in astronomy. In addition, we use the same telescopes to find and measure pulsars, highly accurate natural clocks in space, around Sagittarius A*. This will allow us to determine the deformation of space and time caused by a black hole with extreme precision. The results will be compared to detailed supercomputer simulations to ultimately determine whether Einstein was actually right. After 100 years, some of the most exotic predictions of GR may finally be tested.
BHCam is a project funded through a “Synergy Grant” awarded by the European Research Council (ERC) to a team of European astrophysicists, in partnership with the Event Horizon Telescope project and other international partners.