The Breakthrough Prize Foundation announced on September 5 that two Fermilab researchers who contributed to the image of a black hole in collaboration with Event Horizon Telescope earlier this year shared the Breakthrough Prize 2020 in Fundamental Physics.

Fermilab scientists Bradford Benson, also from the University of Chicago, and Alexandra Rahlin are members of the South Pole Telescope Group, which is part of the EHT network. They were co-authors of one of the EHT's papers, which detailed how a team of scientists used an earth-sized network of telescopes to capture the image of the black hole.

Benson and Rahlin will share the $ 3 million prize with the other 345 members of the collaboration.

Bradford Benson
Alexandra Rahlin

Using eight sensitive radio telescopes strategically located around the world, a global collaboration of scientists at more than 60 institutions from more than 20 countries has for the first time taken the picture of a black hole. The image met the expectations of Einstein's theory of gravitation: a bright ring marks the point where light orbits the black hole and surrounds a dark area where light can not escape the attraction of the black hole.

The Breakthrough Prize, known as the "Oscar of the Sciences," annually honors achievements in life science, basic physics, and mathematics in its eighth year. This year, the Breakthrough Prize Foundation awarded a total of $ 21.6 million to researchers in these fields.