• Professor
    • Luciano Rezzolla
    • Goethe University- Germany
    • Theoretical Astrophysics

How do you take a photo of a black hole?

Black holes remain among the most fascinating objects predicted by von Einstein's theory of gravity. One of their characteristic properties is that they possess an event horizon, a surface beyond which light is captured. So how is it possible to take a photo of it? I will explain in a simple way what a black hole is and the observational and theoretical effort required to make the first photo of a black hole. The image of a black hole will also be the starting point of a journey to discover the irresistible attraction of the theory of gravity.


Luciano Rezzolla is an Italian astrophysicist. After obtaining his PhD in 1997 at SISSA in Trieste (Italy), he has spent several years in the USA before returning to SISSA as an Assistant Professor and later on as an Associate Professor. In 2006 he move to the Max-Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam (Germany) and since 2013 he is the Chair of Theoretical Astrophysics at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Frankfurt (Germany). His main research topics are astrophysical compact objects such as black holes and neutron stars, which he investigates by means of numerical simulations on supercomputers. He is a member of the Executive Board of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration (EHTC). He has written more than 300 articles, a well-known textbook ("Relativistic Hydrodynamics") and a public-outreach book ("The Irresistible Attraction of Gravity") that has been translated in several languages. He has received numerous prizes including the Karl Schwarzschild Prize, the Frankfurt Physics Prize, the Golden Seal of the University of Bari, the 2020 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics (with EHTC) and the Einstein Medal (with EHTC). Since 2019 he is the Andrews Professor in Astronomy at Trinity College, Dublin. He has received an ERC Synergy Grant (2014) and an ERC Advanced Grant (2021).