Villanova Team Assists in Black Hole Photography: ‘It’s Heartwarming; It’s Exciting’


When a global team announced last week they had the first-ever image of a black hole at the center of our galaxy, a Villanova University scientist was right there with them, writes Alicia Vitarelli and the 6abc digital staff.

Joey Neilsen, Ph.D., an assistant professor of physics at Villanova University, had been on a decade-long search for the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A.

It is four million times the mass of the Sun and it lies about 27,000 light-years away from Earth.

“You’ve been trying to get to know this black hole for so many years, and then all of a sudden, there it is right in front of you. It’s heartwarming. It’s exciting. These are hard observations to do. A lot of people have been waiting a long time for this,” Neilsen said.

To create the image, telescopes were networked around the world, creating the Event Horizon Telescope. Part of the process included Villanova University.

“If you look carefully at the author list of those papers, you’ll see one of my undergraduate students, Caleb Kwon,” Neilsen said. “He was involved in some of this work.”

Read more at 6abc about Villanova’s involvement in creating an image of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

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