Black hole discovery sparks global interest in AAS journal

12 Apr 2019 Simon Davies
Image: Akiyama et al and ApJL

On Wednesday, researchers from the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration unveiled the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

Their image reveals the black hole at the centre of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. The black hole is 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun.

The papers explaining this incredible discovery appeared in the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Astrophysical Journal Letters, which is published in partnership with IOP Publishing.

So far, the papers have been read and downloaded more than 376,000 times, and have attracted thousands of pieces of media coverage across the world.

Antonia Seymour, IOP’s Publishing Director, said: “This is a momentous discovery, and the level of interest these articles have generated is unprecedented. We’ve worked in partnership with the AAS for 11 years, and we are extremely proud to have helped them in publishing this ground-breaking research.”