Nobel Prize for Black Hole Research

The Astronomical Society congratulates its member Reinhard Genzel together with Roger Penrose and Andrea Ghez on the Nobel Prize for Physics 2020.


Reinhard Genzel, director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, receives the prize for the discovery of the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Since the early 1990s, his group focused on the centre of our galaxy and observed the orbits of the brightest stars closest to the Galactic centre defined by the compact radio source Sagittarius A* with ever increasing precision. 

This work led to firm evidence for the existence of a supermassive black hole in the heart of the Milky Way and to an accurate estimate of its mass.

In 2011 the German Astronomical Society awarded Reinhard Genzel with the Karl Schwarzschild Medal for his pioneering observations to map the motions of stars close to the Galactic centre. Roger Penrose received the Karl Schwarzschild Medal in 2000 for his work in the field of gravitational theory and on the physics of processes inside black holes. 


Nobel Prize Announcement:

Press Release MPE: