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Event Horizon Telescope Captures Stunning Image of Black Hole at Center of Our Galaxy

A worldwide network of radio telescopes produces the first image of a black hole at the center of the Milky Way.
Event Horizon Telescope Captures Stunning Image of Black Hole at Center of Our Galaxy

Astronomers have unveiled the first image of the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. This result provides overwhelming evidence that the object is indeed a black hole and yields valuable clues about the workings of such giants, which are thought to reside at the center of most galaxies,

The image was produced by a global research team called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration, using observations from a worldwide network of radio telescopes, according to their press release.

Event Horizon Telescope Press Release

Excerpt from Press Release: The image is a long-anticipated look at the massive object that sits at the very center of our galaxy. Scientists had previously seen stars orbiting around something invisible, compact, and very massive at the center of the Milky Way. This strongly suggested that this object — known as Sagittarius A* — is a black hole, and today’s image provides the first direct visual evidence of it. Although we cannot see the black hole itself, because it is completely dark, glowing gas around it reveals a telltale signature: a dark central region (called a "shadow") surrounded by a bright ring-like structure. The new view captures light bent by the powerful gravity of the black hole.
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A black hole is a region of space where matter has collapsed in on itself. The gravitational pull is so strong that nothing, not even light, can escape. Black holes will emerge from the explosive demise of certain large stars, writes BBC News.

Black hole: First picture of Milky Way monster (BBC News)

Excerpt from BBC News: Known as Sagittarius A*, the object is a staggering four million times the mass of our Sun. What you see is a central dark region where the hole resides, circled by the light coming from super-heated gas accelerated by immense gravitational forces. For scale, the ring is roughly the size of Mercury's orbit around our star. That's about 60 million km, or 40 million miles, across. This monster is a long, long way away - some 26,000 light-years in the distance.
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Its gravity so powerful that it bends space and time and forms a glowing ring of light with eternal darkness at the core, the black hole, seen from Earth near the constellation Sagittarius, has a mass equal to more than 4 million suns, reports The Washington Post.

Supermassive black hole seen at the center of our galaxy (The Washington Post)

Excerpt from The Washington Post: By the standards of other supermassive black holes, the scientists said, the one at the heart of our Milky Way is relatively calm — as quiescent as something that gobbles stars and reaches temperatures measured in the trillions of degrees can possibly be. Feryal Özel, a University of Arizona astronomer, described the achievement as "the first direct image of the gentle giant in the center of our galaxy. We find a bright ring surrounding the black hole shadow. It seems that black holes are like doughnuts."
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