EDP Sciences is delighted to learn that this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez. Penrose receives half the prize "for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity" and Genzel and Ghez jointly receive half the prize "for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the centre of our galaxy".
We are particularly pleased since Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez are authors in Astronomy & Astrophysics published by EDP Sciences. A&A congratulated the authors with the following announcement:
“Over the past 30 years, the teams led by Genzel and Ghez have used telescopes in Chile and Hawaii, respectively, to track the orbits of stars around the very center of the Milky Way. This has shown that its central ~100 astronomical units contain 4 million solar masses and yet have very low luminosity; this result is extremely hard to explain with anything but a black hole. Recently, Reinhard Genzel's team spearheaded the development of the GRAVITY instrument for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to improve the tracking precision of the Galactic center stars by an order of magnitude. In a series of A&A articles, the team used the exquisite GRAVITY measurements to pinpoint the properties of the central mass, measure the variable gravitational redshift it inflicts on passing stars, observe the Schwarzschild precession of their orbits, and measure the motions of gas clouds near the last stable orbit.
A&A warmly congratulates all three recipients of the prize, and thanks Reinhard Genzel and the GRAVITY team for choosing our journal to present their spectacular results. A very nice summary of those results, presented by GRAVITY team member Guy Perrin at the 50th anniversary celebration of A&A, can be viewed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkQCauze-A8.”