Black hole in the Milky Way: These are the telescopes used to “hunt” Sagittarius A*

The new image of the Milky Way ‘s central black hole , known as Sagittarius A* , was discovered thanks to a huge network of telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope .


Thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) network of telescopes, the enormous black hole at the center of the Milky Way , called Sagittarius A* (abbreviated as Sgr A*)  , has been observed for the first time .

The EHT is a global network of synchronized radio observatories working in unison to observe radio sources associated with black holes with angular resolution comparable to their event horizons.

The network of observatories consists of 8 stations spread around the world, in addition to 3 that were recently added. This set of observatories was brought together to form a single virtual “Earth-sized” telescope. 

The Horizon Event Telescope observed Sgr A* over several nights, collecting data for many hours at a time, similar to using a long exposure time on a photo camera. You can see where each telescope is located on the interactive map below.

Event Horizon Telescope observatories

This network of telescopes obtained the first image of a supermassive black hole located in the center of the galaxy ‘Messier 87’ (M87) 55 million light years away:

– Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX). Cerro Chajnantor, Chile. Single plate of 12m diameter.

– Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Cerro Chajnantor, Chile. Set of 54 antennas of 12 m in diameter and 12 before 7 m in diameter.

– IRAM telescope. Veleta Peak, Spain. Single plate of 30m in diameter.

– James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). Maunakea, Hawaii, United States. Single plate of 15m diameter.

– Large Millimeter Telescope “Alfonso Serrano” (LMT). Sierra Negra, Mexico. Single plate of 50m in diameter.

– Submillimeter Array (SMA). Maunakea, Hawaii, United States. Set of eight 6m diameter plates.

– Submillimeter Telescope (SMT). Mount Graham, Arizona, United States. Single plate of 10m diameter.

– South Pole Telescope (SPT). South Pole Station, Antarctica. Single plate of 10m diameter.

The following observatories were then added to capture the black hole Sgr A*:

– Greenland Telescope (GLT). Thule Air Base, Greenland, Denmark. Single plate of 12m diameter.

– Kitt Peak Telescope . Kitt Peak, Arizona, United States.

– NOEMA Observatory . Plateau de Bure, France. Set of twelve formerly 15m diameter parabolic dishes.