Today marked a new dawn for scientific research globally as the first ever image of a black hole, captured by the Event Horizon Telescope, was revealed.




The Minister of Science and Technology, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, congratulates the team of scientists for this ground-breaking achievement, made possible through global scientific collaboration.




Our very own South African scientists, Prof. Roger Deane from the Department of Physics at the University of Pretoria, and his postdoctoral fellow, Dr Iniyan Natarajan from the Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University in Makhanda, formed part of the team of scientists that made this achievement possible.




Prof. Deane and Dr Natarajan's contributions were supported by the University of Pretoria, as well as by a grant awarded to Rhodes University that was funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the National Research Foundation (NRF) through the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO).




A planet-sized network of radio telescopes assembled the first image of a supermassive black hole, located in a distant galaxy and measuring 40 billion kilometres in width – three million times the diameter of the Earth.




"This is undoubtedly an historic discovery by the Event Horizon Telescope, which resulted from large-scale international research collaboration. It is a significant leap forward for scientific research and collaboration, and pushes the boundaries of modern science," Minister Kubayi-Ngubane said.




"I'm particularly proud of Prof. Deane and Dr Natarajan for their role in this massive discovery, as this further enhances our country's and the continent's international reputation as a centre for astronomical research. Every scientific discovery is an important step towards a better understanding of the universe and humanity's place in it," the Minister added.




Issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology






Hlengiwe Nhlabathi


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