As their name suggests, black holes are tricky to spot. That is why astronomers look instead at the effect that black holes have on their surrounding environment. In fact, when black holes accrete huge amounts of dust, they can create some of the brightest structures in the known universe. One of the holy grails of modern astronomy is to capture images of the boundary of black holes, known as their event horizon.
In this 100 Second Science video, Avery Broderick of the University of Waterloo and the Perimeter Institute in Canada introduces the instrument designed to do just that – the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). As Broderick explains, the big challenge is to produce substantial images of these objects even though they are relatively small when compared with the scale of galaxies. The EHT will manage this by creating a network of telescopes across the globe using the process of interferometry.