Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. This long-sought image provides the strongest evidence to date for the existence of supermassive black holes and opens a new window onto the study of black holes, their event horizons, and gravity. Credit: Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration


Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration Announces New Management Team

Professor Anton Zensus, the Chairman of the Board of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, announces the search for a new EHT director and changes to the EHT management, which become effective today.

Today, the US National Science Foundation announced the funding of a $12.7M Mid-Scale research innovation grant (MSRI), to develop technologies and techniques that will help to create transformational capabilities for a next-generation Event Horizon Telescope array, envisaged for the second half of the 2020s. Shep Doeleman is PI of this award, and several other US institutions are participating.  

“The development of long-term technologies and techniques is an important step towards taking the Event Horizon Telescope into the future. There are none more qualified to lead such a visionary effort than Shep, and we are looking forward to working with him over the coming months to help coordinate the MSRI activities with related work across the EHT collaboration” notes Anton Zensus.

The EHT Board recognizes Shep Doeleman as the Founding Director of the Event Horizon Telescope, acknowledging his leadership to the phenomenal success of the EHT, which led to the first image of a black hole in the galaxy Messier 87.

"The spectacular M87 EHT results have surpassed our wildest expectations, and I am deeply proud of what we achieved as a team.  Now the question one hears the most is "what's next?", and the next-generation EHT initiative is the exciting clear response.  I look forward to continuing to support the EHT, and am delighted to focus on this new direction." says Shep Doeleman, EHT Founding Director.

The Board will immediately initiate the search to fill the now vacant position of EHT Director, while supporting continuity of the activities of the project through a series of management changes.

  • Mike Hecht, Associate Director at Haystack Observatory, will serve as Deputy Project Director;
  • Geoff Bower of the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ASIAA), the vice Chair of the EHT Science Council, will serve as Project Scientist;
  • Remo Tilanus of Leiden Observatory will serve as Operations Manager;
  • David James of the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian will continue to provide project management support to the Team.

“The EHT Management Team is enhanced to address the evolving management and communication needs of our collaboration, which has seen rapid growth in membership, and increasing complexity in operations, scientific and development activities. Shep has graciously offered to continue to advise the Management Team during the transition period” adds Zensus.

Further Information: NSF MSRI Award: “Next Generation Event Horizon Telescope Design” #1935980


Prof. Dr. J. Anton Zensus
MPI für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany
EHT Board Chairman
Tel. +49 228 525 378

Dr. Colin J. Lonsdale
MIT Haystack Observatory, Westford, MA, USA
EHT Board Vice-Chairman
Tel. +1 617 715 5575

Dr. Shep Doeleman
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
EHT Founding Director
Tel. +1 617 529 0813

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Ros
MPI für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany
EHT Board Executive Secretary
Tel. +49 228 525 125