Scientists holding mysterious event to announce a ‘groundbreaking’ discovery about our galaxy

Astronomers have some news to share about the galaxy we call home, but they’re keeping a tight lid on it until the reveal scheduled for Thursday.

In a 28 April announcement, astronomers of the European Southern Observatory (Eso) and the Event Horizon Telescope project teased an event announcing “groundbreaking Milky Way results” from the telescope project. The event will be held in person at 2pm GMT, 9am EDT, at the Eso headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany, as well as streamed on the Eso-websiteand Youtube channel.

The announcement was scant on details but, based on past work of the organizations involved, Thursday’s reveal could have to do with the supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

The Eso is an international organization made up of more than a dozen member states and operates powerful telescopes viewing the sky from the southern hemisphere in Chile, including the Very Large Telescope. The Very Large Telescope has directly imaged exoplanets and shed light on the shape of the whirling disks of matter falling into supermassive black holes.

The Event Horizon Telescope project is a global network of radio telescopes working together to study black holes, particularly the supermassive black holes at the centers of the distant galaxy Messier 87 and our own Milky Way galaxy.

In 2019, the project produced the first image of a black hole — M87* — a black circle wreathed in fiery orange and compared, in popular culture, to the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies.

The circular shadow of the black hole also provided further confirmation of Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, which predicts a circular shadow.

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