APEX takes part in sharpest observation ever

Originally posted on physics4me:

Telescopes in Chile, Hawaii, and Arizona reach sharpness two million times finer than human vision

An international team of astronomers has observed the heart of a distant quasar with unprecedented sharpness, two million times finer than human vision. The observations, made by connecting the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope [1] to two others on different continents for the first time, is a crucial step towards the dramatic scientific goal of the “Event Horizon Telescope” project [2]: imaging the supermassive black holes at the centre of our own galaxy and others.

Astronomers connected APEX, in Chile, to the Submillimeter Array (SMA) [3] in Hawaii, USA, and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT) [4] in Arizona, USA. They were able to make the sharpest direct observation ever [5], of the centre of a distant galaxy, the bright quasar 3C 279, which contains a supermassive black hole with a mass about one billion times that…

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