Hawk Helps Create First Image of Black Hole at Center of Milky Way

Keyvisual image main
The first image of the SgrA black hole at the center of the Milky Way. Image: EHT Collaboration.

Models developed by researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt were instrumental in the Event Horizon Telescope consortium’s recent blockbuster findings.

Earlier this month, an international, collaborative team of scientists called the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration announced that it had generated an image that for the first time proved the existence of a black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Among the contributors to the EHT Consortium is Prof. Dr. Luciano Rezzolla of the Goethe University Frankfurt, whose team used high-performance computing (HPC) resources at the High-Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) to create high-resolution models of the black hole. Both HLRS and LRZ are member centers of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS).

Rezzolla and his team members used the GCS supercomputing resources to perform "simulations solving the equations of general-relativistic magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) and of radiative transfer," Dr. Rezzolla explains in an article just published on the GCS website. These images could then be compared with observational data produced by some of the world's leading astronomical observation facilities.

The Rezzolla team's contribution involved running simulations on HLRS's Hawk supercomputer. In the article, he credits Hawk and the growing power of GCS's supercomputing infrastructure more generally for enabling his team to run more models than was possible in the past, ultimately resulting in faster analysis.

The new announcement follows previous work also done, in part, at HLRS to produce the first ever image of a black hole in 2019.

Read the complete article at the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing.

Christopher Williams