Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News Feature
  • Published:

How to hunt for a black hole with a telescope the size of Earth

A Correction to this article was published on 06 April 2017

This article has been updated

Astronomers hope to grab the first images of an event horizon — the point of no return.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Change history

  • 31 March 2017

    An earlier version of this story erred in saying that Heino Falcke led a team that made one of the first VLBI observations.


  1. Falcke, H., Melia, F. & Agol, E. Astrophys. J. 528, L13–L16 (2000).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Bower, G. C. et al. Science 304, 704–708 (2004).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Doeleman, S. S. et al. Nature 455, 78–80 (2008).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Doeleman, S. S. et al. Science 338, 355–358 (2012).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Johnson, M. D. et al. Science 350, 1242–1245 (2015).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

Tweet Follow @NatureNews Follow @dcastelvecchi

Related links

Related links

Related links in Nature Research

LIGO black hole echoes hint at general-relativity breakdown 2016-Dec-09

Why galactic black hole fireworks were a flop 2014-Jul-21

Quantum bounce could make black holes explode 2014-Jul-17

Stephen Hawking: 'There are no black holes' 2014-Jan-24

Astrophysics: The heart of darkness 2014-Jan-15

Rare star probes supermassive black hole 2013-Aug-14

Astrophysics: Fire in the hole! 2013-Apr-03

Nature's Books & Arts blog: Imaging and imagining black holes

Related external links

ESA Black Hole Visualization

Imaging black holes

Black holes and Interstellar

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Castelvecchi, D. How to hunt for a black hole with a telescope the size of Earth. Nature 543, 478–480 (2017).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing